We know it’s not the cheeriest thing to be thinking about in October, but it’s time we started thinking about getting ready for winter and preparing our homes for the inevitable colder months ahead. Research from UK insurance companies found that 70 per cent of us don’t carry out this essential preparation, and can be caught short with bothersome and costly consequences.
Top Tips for Winter Proofing
We’ve done a bit of research – so you don’t have to – and here are our top tips for winter proofing inside and outside the home.
- It might not be the first thing that springs to mind but cleaning out the freezer will ease you into some essential maintenance – that leftover chilli you bunged in the freezer in April? You’re probably not going to use it, and as much as we all hate waste, there’s really no point in it taking up freezer space with the overindulgences of the festive season looming.
- When it comes to storing seasonal clothing – vacuum storage bags are your friend. Store away those summer weight duvets and clothing – but make sure they’re clean and laundered before storage because they won’t be super-fresh by the time the new season rolls around if they weren’t clean before you stored them. If you’re struggling for storage space, you can always check out our flexible, affordable self-storage options.
- This one is pretty obvious but worth mentioning anyway – check the boiler and heating system. That first switch-on of the central heating can often highlight problems and it’s when engineers get the most call-outs. A maintenance contract is well worth considering, and if you haven’t done so already this year, get your boiler checked and/or serviced by a Gas Safe registered plumber.
Checking Your Property – Look Up
- Check outside your property – and lookup. Check for cracked, missing or loose tiles or slates and have them replaced or fixed. If a roof’s integrity is compromised, strong winds and the weight of snow can wreak havoc. Look for cracks and loose render around chimney pots and at the roof join.
- Trim trees and bushes. Time to take stock of this year’s growth and check any overhanging or overgrown branches. Get the experts in for tree surgery – it’s a job that needs an expert eye and a power tool.
- Clean gutters before the autumn debris start to clog them up and cause problems. Gutters and drains can quickly get clogged with loose foliage and other debris. Left uncleared, water will start to collect in your gutters and eventually cause damp in your roof or walls.
- Check windows and doors. Take a look at your window frames, filling any cracks and putting on a coat of paint if needed. Extreme temperatures and wet weather can cause untreated wood to expand and rot, so treatment helps prevent this.
In case of Emergencies
And finally, check the fuse box (or find it where it is if you don’t!) and have candles, matches, batteries, and torch at the ready for emergencies.