With the nights drawing in and a noticeable growing chill in the air there’s no denying that winter will soon be on its merry way. Winter can bring its own particular set of challenges for your property, from frozen pipes to leaky roofs, however here are a few handy hints and tips to help prepare your property for the months ahead and ensure you and your home stay warm and toasty this winter.
Bleed your radiators
Bleeding your radiators every now and again is essential to ensuring they keep working efficiently; if you notice your radiators appear to be a little colder at the top than at the bottom then they more than likely have trapped air inside. This can act to prevent heat from circulating properly inside your radiators. If you’ve never had to tackle bleeding your radiators before then try following this handy step by step guide from Uswitch.
Get your boiler checked
Providers such as British Gas recommend you get your boiler serviced regularly, at least once a year, to make sure it is running safely and efficiently. Most people choose to get their boiler checked in winter when it is used the most, after all you don’t want to run the risk of a broken down boiler when the temperature really starts to bite. If your boiler is an old model you could also consider having it replaced, as this could ultimately save you money. According to the Energy Saving Trust replacing an old gas boiler with a new more energy-efficient model could save you up to £305 a year, which is definitely not to be scoffed at.
Autumn is an essential time to clear out your gutters. With all the fallen leaves around there’s a greater chance of blockages forming in your gutters and drains, and if allowed to build up they will start to overflow. You may also want to check your drains for any obvious signs of damage, such as cracks.
Check your roof
You might want to consider hiring a roofing company to check the slate or tiles on your roof before the wild winter weather makes its appearance. Missing or loose tiles can cause a number of problems for your home, especially with the wet winter weather on the way. For example this can allow rain water to penetrate the loft space in your home leading to further problems such as damp.
With winter on its way it’s also time to treat your garden to a bit of TLC. When it comes to preparing your garden for the colder weather it’s pretty much a matter of covering up and clearing away. As the temperature begins to drop, frost can become a real problem for the less hardy plant varieties in your garden. Tender plants can ideally be potted and brought inside before the cold weather hits.
Autumn is also a good time to start cutting back any perennials in your garden to remove any signs of decay and promote healthy growth. Regularly collecting leaves from your lawn and composting these can leave it looking tidier, and removing any that build up on your patio areas is also a good idea, as these can be particularly slippery underfoot during wet weather.
It can also be a good idea to trim any trees located in close vicinity to your home, as these are often key culprits when it comes to a build-up of debris and foliage in your gutters. This handy guide from the Royal Horticultural Society has some great advice for reducing the size of trees safely; however you might want to consider hiring in some professionals such as your local tree surgeon.
Sheds and outbuildings
Replacing the roof on your shed or outbuildings with a more durable alternative, such as corrugated roofing sheets, can also be a good idea at this time of year. Such materials are great long-lasting alternatives, and are readily available from suppliers such as Bushbury Cladding. Furthermore with high winds often battering the British Isles in the winter months now is also a good time to check the fencing in your garden and repair any damage. If your fence is looking particularly unstable and past its best, you might want to consider replacing it entirely. If you fancy having a go yourself then Wickes have a great selection of fence panels and posts to choose from. Treating fencing and wooden sheds with a waterproofing treatment can also go a long way to help preserve them and prolong their life.
You might also want to spare a thought for the wildlife in your garden at this time of year. For example smaller bird species can be particularly susceptible to the colder weather, especially when food becomes scarcer, so why not provide a helping hand and put out some birds seed or a few fat balls. These are readily available for a number of retailers such as B&Q.
By following these essential property maintenance tips you can help ensure your home stays protected this autumn and winter, whatever the British winter may throw at it.