As the nights get longer and the temperature drops you know that the winter months of the year are on their way. Now is the time to make sure that your home is wind and watertight and that it is warm and cosy for all of its occupants.
The last thing you want is for things to go wrong or break down when there is bad weather, short days and when finding reliable tradesmen who are available to help make any repairs necessary could be more difficult than at other times of the year.
We have put together this list of things to check before the winter months arrive to help ensure that you have a trouble-free winter period.
Install/ check smoke alarms – smoke alarms play an important role in protecting your home from the risk of fire. If your home does not have any smoke detectors now is the time to install some. As fires can start anywhere in the home, the more smoke alarms you have the better. Ideally smoke alarms should be fitted in every room except the bathroom. With winter approaching now is the time to check that your smoke alarms are working and replace the backup battery. For additional security install a carbon monoxide alarm. Carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas which can kill. Alarms should be mounted in a location in the home that will allow people living in the house to hear it if the alarm is triggered;
Clean gutters and drains – gutters and drains can become clogged with branches, leaves and other debris. If this is not cleared, blocked drains and guttering can cause a significant amount of damage. The damage includes flooding, burst pipes, water penetration (into the roof space and brickwork) and internal mould and moisture problems. As long as the weather allows it, now is the time to clear gutters and check that downpipes and drains are intact and free from any blockages. This should be undertaken by a trained qualified and reliable professional who is expert in the care and maintenance of rainwater goods and who is able to make any repairs that are required;
Central heating – the last thing a homeowner wants during the winter months is for their central heating to fail. The best precaution against central heating system failures is to keep your boilers well maintained by an appropriately qualified boiler engineer in accordance with the boiler manufacturer’s instructions. If you find that your boiler is not working correctly now is the time to contact your boiler engineer to make any necessary repairs. This will reduce the chance of your boiler failing during the coldest months of the year, plunging your home into freezing cold temperatures and reducing the chance of you having no hot water. Don’t forget to bleed all of your radiators and ensure that they are functioning effectively throughout your home;
Security – the long periods of darkness that occur during the winter can often be accompanied by an increase in house break ins and vandalism. There are a number of measures you can take to deter criminality. Make sure that outdoor lighting on your property works, check that all door locks are functioning correctly, ask your home security alarm system maintenance company to make sure that your burglar alarm systems works and make sure any sheds and garages are secure and alarmed;
Windows – loose fitting and broken windows not only make it easy for wind and moisture to penetrate into the house, they also make rooms harder to heat and uncomfortable to be in. Make sure that all of your windows are wind and watertight and are in a good state of repair. While some problems can be dealt with relatively easily, window moisture ingress can be hard to resolve and if left can get worse and worse. For that reason we recommend that window repairs are attended to as soon as they are noticed and carried out by reliable trusted and professional window companies.