Winter-proof your home: 10 easy tips
How to winter-proof your home
It’s that time of year again. Days are getting shorter, jumpers and scarves are back in the wardrobe and it’s time to start winter-proofing your home for another British winter. Britain is known for its wet and cold weather, our winters are no exception. Take a look at our top 10 tips to winter-proof your home. They will help to keep you warm and snug through this chilly season.
- Keep your gutters clear – Be careful to look out for leaves blocking your pipes. Water needs to flow freely through the pipes to ensure that walls are not effected by damp and leaks. An unpopular task, with a worthwhile result.
- Loft insulation – Loft insulation will make your house will stay warm during the winter and cool during the summer. This adds value to your property by making your home more energy efficient and helps to reduce noise travelling in.
- Frozen pipes – Lagging your pipes is easy and very effective. Lagging can be bought online or from most DIY stores. British Gas says that wrapping your pipes will help stop them from freezing, avoids blockages and prevents burst pipes. Key problem areas which will see the greatest use from lagging include the garage and any areas where pipes run outside. If your pipes are frozen, apply heat to melt the blockage, a hairdryer will do the job!
- Keep your radiators on – By setting your heating on low during the day, either manually or on a timer, your house will stay warm enough to prevent frozen pipes becoming an issue. An hour in the morning and an hour in the evening will be enough. This is especially important if you are planning to go away during the winter months. It is important to check whether your radiators need bleeding. If they are cold at the top and warm at the bottom, this is a clear sign.
- Service your boiler – Annual servicing will reduce your fuel bills and help you to relax over the coldest time of the year, knowing that you will have hot water and heating. Checking your boiler pressure is a good habit to get into each winter; it should be at about one bar. If it is too low, this is a good time to get an engineer to take a look.
- Know where your stop cock is – As a precaution, it is essential to know where your stop cock is. It is often underneath the sink in the kitchen, but occasionally can be located in a front or back hall or in a larder. In the rare instance that a pipe bursts and your home begins to flood, use the stop cock to shut down the mains water supply. A tap or lever on your copper pipes should be turned clockwise to switch the water off.
- Safe and secure – On the 29th October 2017, the clocks are moving back one hour. Everyone can stay in bed for an extra hour in the morning, but this does also mean that we will have fewer hours of daylight for the next few months. Home security is important throughout the year, especially when it is dark because homes become an easy target for burglars who cannot be spotted as easily. It is important to move your valuables away from windows and doors so that they cannot be seen from outside. Installing a sensory light can frighten thieves from attempting to break into your property by making it difficult to know if someone is at home or not.
- Upgrade your windows – If you haven’t already, install double or triple glazing for your home. This will significantly affect the temperature of your house and reduce your heating bills. Additionally, something as simple as closing the doors in your house will maximise the effects of glazed windows and heating by preventing drafts flowing through your home.
- Trim your trees – If you have large trees growing in your garden, it is important to be careful that they are well-trimmed before the frost sets in. Winter temperatures bring the risk of trees freezing, resulting in broken branches. Any trees near your property and drive can damage your home or vehicles if they are not properly maintained.
- Seal any cracks or leaks – This requires a bit of time to go around your home and check for areas where water or cold winds can creep in. It is useful to check areas where two different building materials meet, like corners and chimneys. The incense test is an effective and easy way to locate where these cracks and gaps might be. Simply move a lit stick along the walls, being careful to avoid anything flammable. Smoke will move into any cracks where cold air can come in and warm air can leave. Use a sealant to solve the issue.
With these easy tips, you can be sure your home has been winter-proofed and is ready for the cold weather, so you can sit back and relax!
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