With less than a week to go until the official start of Autumn on September 22nd, now is the best time to make sure that you prepare your home for chillier months.
Below, Nima Ghasri, Director at Good Move, shares five simple tips to get your house ready as we move into cooler weather and save yourself time, money, and stress.
Clear gutters and drains
It is nobody’s favourite job, but maintaining your gutters and drains is an essential part of getting your home ready for autumn and winter. Check for obvious cracks or damage and make time to clear your gutters of debris like leaves, moss, and mud before the wet and windy months start. Autumn leaves are lovely to look at, but they can easily cause a blockage – and come heavy rain or snow, you risk leaks or even greater damage if water cannot drain away from your house.
Protect your pipes with lagging
A little investment in the milder months can pay off when the temperature drops – and one of the things you can do now to save you time and money come autumn and winter is to lag your pipes. Lagging simply refers to foam insulation tubes, which are inexpensive to buy and easy to install – just slip the foam tubing over external pipes (particularly plastic pipes) to reduce heat loss from your system. This will make your heating more efficient, helping you to save on energy bills – and lagging will also protect your pipes from freezing and bursting in cold weather.
Check your roof and chimney
Your home’s roof is one of those things that you do not think about – until there is a problem. Water leaking in from an improperly maintained roof or chimney can damage your home, discolour your walls, and in the case of a bad leak, could mark or spoil anything you may keep in your attic.
Even if everything seems fine now, all it takes is a heavy snowfall or a bad spell of wind and rain to dislodge tiles or mortar, allowing draughts and water to sneak into your home. Save yourself some stress come winter – check that your tiles are still firmly in place and that any flashing and pointing is still in good condition, or get a roofer to have a look if you don’t have easy access.
Winter-proof your windows
If you have wooden window frames or windowsills, they might need a little bit more care and attention during autumn and winter. Wet weather and freezing temperatures can make untreated wood expand and even rot, so ahead of time, make sure you fill in any cracks, check that any sealant is still firmly in place and holding a good seal, and top up any paint if needed.
Get your boiler serviced
It is easy to put off a boiler servicing – it can be expensive, and if your boiler is tucked away in a closet or airing cupboard it is a case of out of sight, out of mind. But the very last thing you want is for your boiler to stop working in the dead of winter, leaving you and your family shivering.
Not to mention, in the colder months you may struggle to find someone who can fix your boiler right away – and you may also end up paying more due to out of hours rates or emergency callout prices. Even if you have cover for your boiler, most policies may not pay out if your heating system has not been properly maintained – so get your boiler serviced now and enjoy a cosy autumn with fully-functional heating.
Nima concludes: “The autumn and winter months may be cosy, but if your house isn’t prepared ahead of time, you may find that the cold weather brings plenty of stress – and extra expense. Hopefully, our helpful tips will help homeowners beat the cold temperatures, rainy days, and blustery winds.”