How to prepare your house for winter

As it starts to turn colder, the days grow shorter and the leaves begin to fall from the trees, it is important to think about the lower temperatures and adverse weather that comes with the winter season and how it could affect your home.

We spoke to some professional Chadwell Heath estate agents about the best ways to protect and prepare your property for winter and compiled them into these top tips.

Securing outside furniture

Make sure that your garden is clear of all furniture or items that could potentially get swept away, knocked over or broken. Trampolines, hanging baskets, garden toys, patio furniture, plant pots and wheelie bins to name a few, should all be safely and securely tucked away, tied down or put into the sheds or garages.

Clean and clear out gutters

Gutters, downpipes and gullies can easily get blocked up with leaves, moss and debris throughout the year which often goes unnoticed until the winter, when the heavy rain can cause them to overflow. If this happens then it can lead to water damaging the roof and walls of the home which you do not want. Be sure to take the time to either clean out the gutters yourself safely or hire a professional to take care of the job for you.

Boiler servicing

It is always a good idea to get your boiler serviced regularly to ensure that it is running safely and effectively. Doing so ahead of the winter months means that if there are any issues, you won’t be left without heat and that you can get it fixed in plenty of time before the cold weather.

Prepare sheds, garages and outhouses

Undertake some maintenance by making sure any outbuildings or structures are secure, their roofs are intact, they don’t need relining, they are weatherproof and any electrical or valuable items inside are protected and won’t be damaged. These areas tend to hold high value items such as bikes, tools and lawnmowers so it is worth investing in a shed alarm if you haven’t already to deter burglars.

Bleed your radiators

After the warm summer months when the radiators are not in use, it is not uncommon to find them to be cold at the top and hot at the bottom when you start using the heating again. This usually means the radiator needs bleeding to release trapped air and is really simple to do to make sure that they are working efficiently.

Get the garden ready

In order to prevent a huge build-up of leaves and garden maintenance in the winter, it is often a good idea to cut back or prune hedges, plants, shrubbery and trees before the season starts. This not only helps to avoid snow or ice building up on the trees but also damage from falling branches in high winds.

Book in for a chimney clean

Ideally carried out in the Autumn, professional chimney sweeping is essential if you plan on using your fireplace in the winter. If it has been unused for a while or not been properly cleaned then it can be blocked by nests, soot build up and debris which if unnoticed can cause chimney fires or dangerous carbon monoxide levels.

If you don’t use your fireplace, then make sure that you block it up thoroughly to help prevent warm air from escaping and cold air from getting in.

Prepare your doors and windows

Draught-proofing doors and windows is a simple and cost-effective way to prevent heat loss, improve thermal performance and be more energy efficient. There are many great solutions such as self-adhesive foam strips, silicone sealants, draught excluders, fit foam and even buying some heavy thermal curtains which can really help to retain the heat.

If your windows are very old or single-glazed, then it might cost a bit of money to replace them, but it could be well worth the investment.

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