Winter is well and truly upon us. You can feel the chill in the air already, can’t you? Most of us are deeply concerned with making sure that we keep ourselves happy, healthy and warm this winter. But you shouldn’t neglect your home. You probably aren’t aware of this unless you’ve suffered from it before, but your house can be just as affected by the cold as you are. And no, we’re not talking about shivering in the declining temperatures.
The frosty weather can play havoc with our homes, and, in some extreme cases, result in the need for some home repairs. Not to mention with the dark evenings accompanying it, our safety is paramount. With that in mind, here’s a guide to proofing your home for the winter. Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to keep your home happy and safe for the next three months.
Don’t Be Left in the Dark
Along with the winter comes a very sparse amount of sunlight. It seems like you wake up for work when it’s dark, and get out of the office well after the sun has set. That in itself can cause chaos with your mood, but it also means that our safety isn’t as assured as we might think. The early nights are enticing for petty thieves, so it’s no surprise that there’s usually a rise in crime around the winter period.
Are there ways you can protect yourself against that? Yes, of course, there is. A good starting point would be to make sure that you have plenty of lights around the outside of your home. In your garden, install those smart little motion detecting lights to ward off any suspected wrongdoers. Make sure that you keep your doors locked at night, and that your garage is well protected from break-ins.
It’s also well worth investing in home insurance if you haven’t already. That way, if you do find yourself the victim of theft, it’s not going to cost you an arm and a leg. You’ll be covered for situations such as this unless you fail to take the proper precautions.
Getting Down and Dirty
Although nobody wants to hear it, the winter is a time when you can’t neglect your chores. Specifically, the things you need to do outside. Clearing the gutters, purging the drains, and shoveling snow. The kind of tasks you might be tempted to neglect. Make sure you don’t, as even the most innocuous of them can cause damage to your home. Clogged up gutters can cause cracks and leaks, and then you’ll have to pay out for new guttering. Avoid this by simply keeping on top of your outside work.
It might also be worth it for you to check the state of your roof. In the winter, slates and tiles can become damaged by the rapid change in weather. If you find anything untoward, it’s essential that you get it seen to as soon as possible. Leaving it too long will just make the problem worse, and then you’ll have to pay out for a bigger job. Get in touch with a roofing consultant if you suspect any problems.
You can check the roof from inside your home, too. Making the climb up to the loft could draw attention to any problems you were previously unaware of. Look for signs of daylight peering through cracks in the ceiling, as this means you’ll need repair work doing. Also, check the state of your loft insulation, before the weather becomes too unbearable.
Open the Waterworks
The winter can be tough on things like pipework. The frost that develops can cause cracks and, as a result, serious leakage. Anybody that’s ever had to endure this before knows all too well that this is not a problem to be taken lightly. Take the appropriate steps to making sure all your pipes are properly insulated to avoid them freezing over.
It might also be worth having your boiler checked or serviced at this time of year. The last thing you want is to find your central heating is on the blink. Calling out a specialist like Flame-On could prove to be a lifesaver. They’ll be able to spot any problems and, in most cases, get them fixed as soon as possible. That way, you aren’t without your boiler for any longer than necessary. Besides, this is the time of year when you need it most.
If your water tank is located separately from your boiler (and it is, in most cases), you may need to inspect that too. Problems can arise in the winter and that have devastating effects on your home. Flooding, anyone? Not only could they give you quite a scare, but they’re incredibly expensive to get fixed. Make sure everything is in order.
Go For a Test Drive
It’s not just your home that is susceptible to the cold weather; your car is too. How many times have you spent the morning trying – and failing – start your car in the winter? That’s because the drop in temperature can play havoc with your car’s interiors. Your battery can completely drain in the winter, so make sure that you’ve always got the tools to jumpstart it to hand. Otherwise, you might find yourself running late for that Monday morning meeting.
Did you know that the cold temperatures can affect the consistency of your car’s fluids? That’s why it’s often hammered home to you that you need to check your oil regularly. This is especially the case in winter. Check all your car’s fluids, including antifreeze, brake fluid and power steering. All of these can be compromised by the cold weather.
The harsh air could also pose problems for your tyres, so make sure you perform regular checks. It’s easy to forget about checking tyres, but it’s crucial that you keep on top of it in the winter. This can include checking the air pressure and spotting signs of balding. You must keep on top of this, or you’re putting your own safety at risk.