During the colder winter months, it’s essential that your home is highly maintained in order to ensure that you and your family are kept warm and safe from the elements. Keeping your family home in good shape throughout the rest of the year is essential to ensuring that it’s prepared to take on the winter, and with the winter months creeping up on us, now’s a good time to make sure that everything’s working as it should in order to prevent issues that the cold weather could cause. From preventing burst pipes to keeping your kids warm and cozy at night, read our guide on making sure that your home’s prepared to take on the cold.
Burst or Frozen Pipes
Every winter, thousands of homeowners are left at a loss of what to do after pipes freeze over or even burst, leaving their homes with water damage and in need of repairs. Burst and frozen pipes occur when the pipes themselves get too cold in the winter weather and water starts to freeze inside them, so don’t get caught out this winter – with just a few simple precautions you can avoid this scenario. During the run up to winter it’s a good idea to check your pipes for any damage or cracks, and have these repaired before the chilly weather sets in. As the weather gets colder you should leave your heating system on for longer, as this will cause the water in the pipes to warm up, preventing any freezing over. Check that any pipes in unheated areas such as your loft, attic, or garage are well insulated before the cold weather begins.
Having not had to use the heating system all summer long, many homeowners switch on their heating in the winter once it starts getting colder, only to discover that it’s no longer working. Not using the heating system for a while is a common reason for breakages and repairs over the winter, and plumbing professionals recommend that you should run your heating system at least once a month all year round in order to prevent it from breaking down in the winter months when you need it most.
Many families use the garden a lot over the summer, and you’ll probably have a collection of items out there including children’s toys, a barbecue, and garden furniture. Remember to keep them protected over the winter months by locking them away in a sheltered and dry area such as a shed or garage. Not only will this preserve the items themselves, it also stops them from becoming potential hazards over the winter. If your garden has a fence, it’s a good idea to ensure that it’s in good condition before the colder weather kicks in, especially if your area is expecting storms this season. The majority of home insurance plans don’t cover fences and gates in the event of storm damage, so it’s down to you to make sure they’re secure and stable.
Check the Roof
Before the winter arrives, it’s important that you check your roof for any damage and have it repaired as soon as possible. Loose tiles can easily become dislodged and turn into hazards during storms and high winds, and this can also cause damage to the fabric of the building. You should also check your gutters to ensure that they are clean and free from any dirt, debris and other unwanted items. Gutters that are clogged with debris will not drain away water as well, which could result in leaks into your home in the worst case scenario. Whilst checking your roof, you would also be wise to check your first floor windows for any bad paintwork or damaged seals – any gaps could allow water through, causing the window to swell or jam.
Clearing Snow and Ice
If you’re expecting a falling of snow this winter or even if you’re not, it’s always good to prepare just in case you do get a white Christmas. When clearing snow and ice outside your home it’s important to be careful that pathways don’t refreeze, and never use water to clear snow and ice as this will freeze back over, turning into black ice. Instead, make sure that you have salt or grit available in the case of a snowfall, and spread this on the area once you have cleared it.
Which tasks and jobs do you do each year to ensure your family home is ready for winter? Leave your response in the comments.