When the cold weather starts to close in homeowners find themselves with some less than appealing DIY tasks on the to-do list. Many of the methods of winter-proofing your home are far from attractive activities, particularly when the weather outside is not so welcoming. To provide you with some motivation, taking the time to do them now will hopefully protect you against further hardship later.
Your first task on the maintenance to-do list is cleaning out your gutters. Flooding, freezing, cracking and collapsing are common occurrences for guttering during autumn and winter months. Make sure you give yours a good clearout before these problems surface and while you?re up there, have a good look for any loose roof tiles that could blow off in winter storms. It?s better to be safe than sorry!
Central heating and pipes should be next on your checklist. Boilers account for up to 60 per cent of domestic energy use, so ensuring yours is in good working order should save you money as well as prevent you from experiencing any unexpected internal cold spells. If you go away on holiday or to visit relatives and leave your home unattended, don?t forget to programme your central heating to come on for short spells or your pipes may freeze and burst. This is a problem experienced by thousands of people every winter, so don?t be caught out!
If you are going away for a prolonged period of time you should also inform your insurer. Many home insurance policies contain a clause that invalidates your policy should you leave the property empty for a sustained period of time, so if you are planning an extended winter ?break, let your policy provider know. View this as administrative maintenance for your home and if your policy will be affected consider solutions like having a family member housesit. Security awareness is also a maintenance issue in the winter months ? when burglars can target homes for seasonal pickings. Whether you are going away or not, investigate ways to make your home more secure by fitting double glazing or installing new technology such as a wireless alarm system.
Finally, remember your home boundaries extend beyond your front door and exterior walls and think about the impact of the seasons on your garden and driveway. Maintain fences and gates to ensure they will weather any coming storms and ready yourself with the tools needed to clear your driveway should snow or ice hit. In the past few years the UK has suffered slight salt shortages when the snow has landed, so it may be worthwhile holding your own private stash.