For some, the winter months are the best time of the year. Dark nights, cosy settings and hot chocolate in front of the TV all make for a very festive feeling. However, with the cold, wet and potentially snowy weather comes a host of issues not just for your daily lives but for your property as well.
To avoid any unnecessary issues that can ruin your winter, Ladders UK Direct have summarised the most important things you can do to prepare your home for the winter! Read on to find more.
The last few winters have not only brought unusually cold temperatures with some spells of heavy snow. With this trend likely to continue this year, it's vital that you ensure your home is fully prepared to deal with the conditions. Here's what you can do to get your property winter-ready.
Winter Home Maintenance Checklist
Preparing your outside space
Ensuring the outside of your home is prepared for the winter is important as you'll be entering and leaving your property more often than not (per lockdown rules). Some of the things that you can do are to make sure your rubbish and recycling bins are kept in a safe and secure place to avoid potential damage to your or your neighbour's property.
Another important thing to ensure is that your gutters are clear of any debris as they help to carry away water from your home which can cause damp and resulting damage.
Keeping your house cosy
Before the temperatures start to decrease, it can pay-off to check that your property is going to be well protected against the cold. Again, there are a few things that you can do.
Firstly, ensure that your loft (if you have one) is properly insulated. This will not only help to keep your property warm and toasty throughout the day and night but will help to reduce your heating bills too, as you won't have to turn it on quite as much.
Secondly, making sure important pipes do not freeze over is a vital task, as frozen pipes can lead to blockages which result is bursts. To prevent this from happening, wrap any exposed pipes with thermal insulation known as 'pipe lagging' or 'pipe jackets'. These can be bought from most DIY retailers.
Knowing where your stop cock is
Your stop cock is the valve that turns off and in the cold water system in your home. Knowing where this is located is just as important as wrapping your pipes. If by any chance the water in your pipes to freeze, pressure can build-up being the blocked area, which can cause the pipe to burst.
In the unfortunate event, this does happen, it's important to know where your stop cock is so you can shut the water mains off and avoid any flooding.
Your home's stop cock is often found in your kitchen, under the sink. However, it can also be found in a front or back hall. Look out for a tap or lever on copper pipes and turn it clockwise to switch it off.
Bleeding your radiators
If you find that when your heating is turned on and your radiators are cold at the top but hot at the bottom, this is a sign that they need bleeding. Before you do this, however, make sure you have a cloth, a bleed key and that your heating has been turned off.
Once you have done all of this, locate the valve at the top of your radiator and turn it anti-clockwise with the bleeding key until you hear a hissing sound. Once the water starts to flow, simply tighten the valve once more and you're finished. Use the cloth to catch any water that may drip from the valve.
Keeping your property warm
Above, we talked about keeping your home cosy to reduce your energy bills cold spells of weather, but it is also important that you keep your home warm throughout the day and your heating ticking over.
Ideally, you should aim to heat your home for at least one hour every day. You can do this by using the timer on your heating system to make sure it comes on and turns off. By doing this, you can help keep the system running smoothly and your vital pipes warm, avoiding some of the issues mentioned above!
Ensuring your home is properly insured
Probably the most important thing to remember that prepares your home for the winter is to make sure you have the right home insurance in place. With storms being a regular occurrence during the winter, the emphasis on home insurance is greater than any other time of the year.
Building and contents insurance policies generally cover any financial loss resulting from a storm, some policies include alternative accommodation too. This is the part of your policy that is activated if your property becomes uninhabitable as a result of issues such as flooding caused by a storm.
By doing all of the above, you will make great strides in protecting and preparing your home for the winter. We hope that our winter home maintenance checklist has helped you to get ready for the colder months and to avoid any potential issues.
For more information on home DIY or general news around the home, be sure to keep an eye out on our news blog for more regular updates.
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