Is your Home Ready for Winter?
We’ve reached that time of year again – the clocks have gone back, the nights are drawing in, and winter is well on its way to the UK. Hallowe’en has come and gone, Bonfire Night has fizzled away like a damp squib. It’s colder, gloomier, rainier - and the baking hot summer is fast becoming a distant memory as the Christmas Season approaches. It’s time to make sure your home is ready to bear the brunt of the harsh winter weather. Here are some tips you can use to make sure your house is fit to withstand the rigours of coming months.
- Roof Inspection – waiting until you see a damp patch on the ceiling is NOT making sure your roof is ready for winter! Check inside the loft for any leaks – look for any daylight coming in through the roof or around the chimney area. From the outside, look for cracked, missing or dislodged tiles and get them replaced before the really cold weather begins. Inspect any flat roofs for standing water, uneven surfaces and splits in the roofing material. When it comes to roof inspection, a ladder can provide access for a short time (30 minutes or less), but if more time is needed for a roof inspection, hiring a professional is the safest option.
- Door and Window Seals – check around your windows for gaps that may have been caused by the frames expanding and contracting over the summer. Use a flexible, non-permanent sealer to plug any gaps.
- Air Tightness – check around the following areas for any gaps or cracks that could result in air leaks and seal them using the relevant type of sealers:
- Switch plates and electrical outlets
- Electrical and gas service entrances
- Weather stripping around doors
- Wall- or window-mounted air conditioners
- Fireplace dampers
- Attic hatches
- TV and phone cables
- Where dryer vents pass through walls
- Vents and fans
- Insulate Floors – check for gaps between any bare floorboards and seal them. Seal any gaps between the floor and skirting boards. With so many homes now featuring laminate flooring, adding some woollen rugs in the winter can be a great idea to make rooms seem cosier, especially for families with kids who like to sit or lie on the floor.
- Test your heating system – getting your boiler or central heating system serviced on a regular basis is a great way of ensuring that it will be working effectively over the winter months. Regular servicing can save money in the long term by making your boiler or heating system last longer.
As a homeowner, you can do most of these checks yourself. If you find small gaps or small problems that need attention, there is a wide range of draught-proofing and sealing materials on the market that can be used to seal up your home and make sure you and your family stay warm over the winter months.