Updated: Aug 17, 2020
There is no denying that winter is the time of year that tests the durability of your home. It won’t come as a surprise to you that winter is when many service companies find they are at their busiest, due to things breaking or malfunction in people’s properties!
As the colder weather starts to take its toll, the last thing you want to do is find yourself without heating, hot water, or even food for that matter! So, with all that in mind, do you know how to best prepare your house for winter? If the answer is no, don’t fret because this handy guide will tell you all you’ll need to know:
Get your heating and hot water system checked
It might sound like an obvious point to make, but you need to have your heating and hot water system checked. Doing so will flag up any problems with your boiler or water pipes, for example. According to High Mark Plumbing, annual service and safety checks on heating and hot water systems are a must to prevent total system failure during cold spells.
Insulate any exterior water pipes
The trouble with water pipes outside of your house is they tend to freeze up when the temperature drops outdoors! As a result, frozen pipes can cause water distribution problems inside your home. Plus, in some extreme circumstances, water pipes could even explode, causing your house to get flooded!
To avoid those problems, make sure that you insulate any exterior water pipes. You can do so by wrapping them up with inexpensive foam strips called pipe sleeves. Alternatively, you could use some old clothes or rags wrapped around the pipes and secured in place with duct tape.
Clear your gutters
When it rains, you expect the water that drips down from your roof to get carried down to your drains and washed away into your local sewer system. The trouble is, debris like leaves, tree branches, and even moss can cause blockages in your gutters. Now, you might assume that the worst that could happen is that water will overflow and create a waterfall effect whenever it rains.
But, when the temperature drops, the stagnant water that has nowhere to go will freeze. The sheer weight of that icy water can often cause gutters to become damaged and even collapse onto the ground below! That’s why it’s essential to check that your gutters are clear of any debris, and repair any sections damaged by a previous winter.
Have your chimneys swept
One of the reasons people like the winter months of the year is that it gives them the opportunity to use their log burners and fireplaces! There’s nothing quite like sitting in front of a roaring fire on a cold winter’s evening in the company of your nearest and dearest.
As with most things in your house, it’s vital that you maintain your chimneys so they are safe and work at optimum efficiency. It makes sense to hire a chimney sweep such as the British Brush Chimney Sweep once a year during the summer months of the year.
Annual sweeping of chimneys ensures that soot and bird’s nests don’t block your chimneys. Also, chimney sweeping gets rid of creosote, something that can cause chimney fires.
Check the insulation in your attic
Something that you’ll no doubt remember from your days at school as a kid is that heat rises. The idea of roof insulation is to prevent that heat from escaping upward and into the atmosphere outside your home.
As you can appreciate, attic insulation keeps the heat in your house for longer and helps to lower your heating and energy bills each year. The good thing about roof insulation is that it lasts for several years, sometimes even decades depending on the type used. But, there can be times where that insulation might get disturbed, such as when rodents or birds make nests in your roof.
Before the cold weather really bites, it’s crucial that you go up in your home’s attic and check the insulation is still intact. It also gives you an opportunity to inspect your roof for any broken tiles that you might not notice when looking from outside.
Thankfully, any replacement insulation you might need will be inexpensive. Plus, it shouldn’t take long to “pack out” any areas in your roof where there is a lack of insulation material.
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