Not everyone thinks about the toll that winter can take on their property. Blustering winds and torrential downpours mean that your home can come out of the season worse for wear. Avoid burst gutters, frozen pipes and chilly evenings with these top tips for preparing your house for winter.
Insulate your pipes
Burst or frozen pipes are not uncommon during winter, especially when temperatures drop below freezing. If your pipes freeze rapidly and then thaw, it can cause a huge amount of damage. Prevent them from getting icy by insulating them properly with tubular-sleeve insulation. If they are already frozen, you can thaw them with a hairdryer or heater, but be sure to check for any cracks or damage first, otherwise they may burst. If you see damage, rather call a plumber.
Keep out chilly drafts
Drafts in the home can let in a huge amount of cold during winter. Keep your home toasty by finding and blocking any drafts at the start of the season. An obvious place for unwanted breezes is underneath your door, but sneakier drafts can creep in through loose windows or cracks. Identify them by holding up a lit candle close to the spot. If it flickers, that area is most likely letting in unwanted air. Plug up drafts with draft excluders or self-adhesive draft strips.
Prepare your chimney for winter
Before the cold sets in, be sure to get your chimneys swept. This helps to get rid of built-up dirt and grime on the inside of your chimney walls that may prevent it from functioning properly. If your fireplace has been in disuse over the summer, check to see if there are any birds or animals that have set up nests in your chimney. If so, burning a small about of paper in the fireplace should cause enough smoke to scare them off.
Insulate your home
If you’re in a new house and not sure how it well retains warmth in winter, check by making sure that it is insulated properly. The majority of the heat in your house is lost through improper insulation. Ensure that you have good loft and wall cavity insulation to keep the warmth in.
Check your gutters
When trees lose their leaves in autumn, it can cause your gutters to fill up with loose foliage. If this builds up too much, the water can back up, causing your gutters to burst, sag or overflow and leak into your roof and down the walls of your house. Be sure to check your gutters regularly for blockages and build up, and ensure they are as clean as possible before winter takes its toll.
Bleed your radiators
If your radiators are not warming up properly, it may be because there is air trapped inside of them, stopping the heat from circulating properly. Be sure to bleed your radiators before you need them most. Depending on your radiator, use a radiator key, flat screwdriver or 12-point socket, and slowly turn the valve counter clockwise until water starts dripping out. This will release trapped air and let hot water into the cold fins.
Trim your trees
If you have a lot of overhanging trees in your garden be sure to cut them back, away from the house, before winter starts. Trimming your trees will help you to avoid leaves falling into your gutters and will also minimise the risk of damage that broken branches and blustering storms may cause.
We hope you have found these tips on preparing your house for winter helpful. Are you thinking of selling this season? Be sure to read our latest post on Showing Your House in Winter.