Wintertime can be plenty of fun, whether it’s exchanging holiday gifts, chilling by the fire, or some much-needed vacation time. Before you kick back and relax, there are several winter home maintenance chores to get stuck into. To get your home prepped for the winter, consider these ten home maintenance tips.
1 . Check Doors & Windows
Before winter sets in, it’s a good idea to check the seals around your doors and windows. You can use a screwdriver, or your finger, to ensure that there are no gaps. If there are holes or gaps, use caulk to fill these up. When gaps or holes are too large, you may need to call a professional to finish the job. Leaving any gaps in your windows or doors means you’ll waste energy and overpay on your bills. To keep things nice and warm during the winter months this is an important job!
2. Prevent Pipes From Freezing
When the cold weather is approaching, you should try and stop your pipes from freezing. You can do this by wrapping sponge covers around your pipes. You should also insulate your water tanks, particularly in the loft (where it’s colder). Another thing you can do is to leave the heating running when you’re away from the property. Of course, you won’t want to leave it on full blast when you’re not around, just set it at between 12-14C. While you’re at it try leaving loft hatches and cabinet doors open, this can help to circulate warm air.
3. Inspect Your Roof
The harsh winter weather can really take its toll on your roofing. For this reason, it’s important to check for any small faults, and have these repaired. To inspect your roof, you should look for any shingles that are crackling or curling. If you find any, it’s best to call in a professional to fix these. It can be dangerous to carry out roof repairs yourself unless you are trained.
When you need a roof replacement service, consider a metal roof as opposed to asphalt. However, a more expensive metal roof is significantly more durable. While you’re outside doing chores, consider covering your plants in blankets overnight. Doing so will protect them from frost and improve your winter garden.
4. Drainage & Gutters
A clogged gutter can overflow, and damage your roof, so it’s essential to clean out the debris regularly. You should be able to do this yourself using a small shovel. If you’re not confident about getting up on the roof, your roofing contractors should be able to do this for you. It’s also a good idea to check your basement for any mildew or water stains. These are both signs that your drainage system may need to be looked at by a professional.
Poorly functioning gutters can lead to a moisture build-up, which can spread to your wood and may attract termites. If you suspect this has already happened in your property, you’ll need to contact pest control for a termite damage control solution.
5. Bleed The Radiators
To ensure that your radiators are running at full capacity, you should bleed them before the winter sets in. First, switch them to the max setting, then turn off the central heating after a few minutes and allow your radiators to cool. Work on one radiator at a time, opening the bleed valve, and placing a tray underneath. Let out the air and allow the tray to collect the water. After you’ve bled all your radiators, it’s a good idea to ensure that your air pressure in the boiler is at the correct level.
6. Check Your Sump Pump
If you have a sump pump, it’s a good idea to test it before the winter. You can start by taking off the cover and looking inside the sump pit. A low water level is a good indication that the sum pump is working. Next, examine the sump pump to check for external damage. The valve should be functioning correctly, and the pipe should be unblocked. Another easy way to test the pump is to pour a bucket of water around the pump. Expect the pump to turn on once the correct water level is reached, if this doesn’t happen it might be damaged or clogged.
7. Check Your Insulation
It’s advisable to check your insulation system before the winter. The time may have come for an upgrade or some repairs. A poorly insulated house may have the following issues:
- Uneven temperature in different rooms
- Cold flooring and walls
- Condensation forming on windows
- Frozen or bursting pipes
- Damp insulation
There are plenty of types of insulation to choose from, including foam spray insulation, blue jean insulation, rigid foam or sheep’s wool.
8. Check Outside Lighting
As the dark nights roll in, it’s essential to have a working outdoor lighting system. A well-lit pathway is important to prevent trips and falls when the weather is icy. Motion sensor lights are properly the best option for the winter. It’s advisable to use LED lights as these are far more durable and energy-efficient when compared with traditional bulbs.
9. Pest Control
When the weather gets cold, it’s prime time for pests such as mice! To keep mice out of your home ensure that food debris is cleaned away immediately, and that food is stored securely in tupperware boxes and cupboards. As well as this you can try applying peppermint oil to your surfaces; the scent should work to repel rodents. You should also block any entrances where mice could find their way in.
10. Purchase Grit For Snow
Prepare your driveway for the wintertime by cleaning it and applying grit to the surface. You may also want to purchase a snow shovel so you can clear your pathway during snowy weather. It’s best to be as prepared as possible, to keep your home safe. You’ll need to re-grit your pathway several times throughout the season.
Once all your winter maintenance chores are done, it’s time to relax with some mulled wine and get ready to hang your festive lights!
*This is a collaborative post