Basic Steps Towards Preparing Your Home For Winter
Basic Steps Towards Preparing Your Home For Winter
We are at that time of year once again. Before you know it, it will be heading deep into winter, and there is a lot to do before that time comes. One of the major tasks for anyone at this time of year is preparing their home for the colder months. This is something which we all need to do to some degree, and yet many of us struggle to know what it actually entails. Fortunately, this article should be able to offer you some help. In this piece, we will be looking at the basic things that you need to do in order to get your home ready for winter. No matter where you live, chances are most of these will apply to you. It is likely that some of these might even be things that you have never considered before. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the most basic steps you need to take to prepare your home for winter.
Clear Gutters & Drains
It goes without saying that winter is when the gutters and drains are used the most. As such, it is important that you properly clean them out before winter comes. Doing so will mean that they are much more able to be used as they are intended. When it comes to cleaning your gutters, make sure that you do so thoroughly. Even the smallest amount of grime can stop the rain or snow from being properly dealt with. Similarly, you want to ensure that all obstructions are removed in their entirety. It might not seem that a few leaves could make much difference. But in fact, that is all it really takes to stop your gutters and drains from doing their job properly. At its worst, a blocked gutter can lead to leaks coming into the house or even foundation problems. This is the last thing that anyone wants at any time of the year, but particularly as it gets colder. Avoid it at all costs by taking the simple action of cleaning your gutters.
Chances are, your kitchen has been primed for summer and isn’t set to change any time soon. If yours is like most kitchens, then your cupboards are full of summer food. While this is great for that time of year, the fact is that it all changes pretty dramatically come October or November. That’s why an essential part of getting your home ready for winter is to give your kitchen something of an overhaul. This is one of those tasks that can sound difficult, but is actually quite a simple matter. Getting your kitchen ready for winter is, more often than not, just a matter of thinking carefully about the kinds of foods you tend to eat in winter. In most cases, you will find that you want to fill up your cupboards with more hearty foods than in summer. If you are particularly detail-oriented, you might even want to rearrange your herbs and spices. Get the winter-friendly ones to the fore so that you can grab them more easily. In all likelihood, this will save you a great deal of time in the months to come. Get your slow-cooker out and make sure that your big pots and pans are easily accessible. It might sound silly, but it can be amazing what a difference these small changes really make over time.
This is one area of the house which is often forgotten over the colder months. It’s not hard to see why. It does soon become particularly unpleasant to really work the land. What’s more, it is true that there is really only a certain amount you can do during winter. Gardening is first and foremost meant for spring and summer. However, that doesn’t mean that your garden needs to lie entirely dormant for three to four months. There is plenty that you can do, and most of it is about getting the garden ready for spring. Doing so will make it many times easier when it does get to spring. Having prepared the land ready for the start of the new year means that you can get back into it with aplomb. Winter will soon enough kill the last of your non-perennial plants, so don’t expect your garden to be green and lush for long. However, you can make more of the colder months by planting some tulip bulbs around your borders. These will happily lie dormant for a month or two before the heat of spring finally brings them out. And there is no more colourful or beautiful way to start spring than with some early flowers. Similarly, you might be surprised at just how early daffodil bulbs can be planted. Doing so will help to prepare your garden, while also helping you to get over those winter blues. If you are into growing your own vegetables, then bear in mind that there are certain foods you can start sowing in winter.
Check Your Boiler
One of the biggest changes in any home around this time of year is that the heating will come on a lot more often. That much goes without saying, but are you aware of what you need to do to help prepare your home for it? The truth is, it can be damaging if you just throw the heating on without doing anything to prepare the home for it first. One of the major things you need to do is to check your boiler and make sure it is ready to be used a lot more than previously. But how exactly do you do this? The easiest – and probably safest – way to do this is to get a professional out to give it a service for you. This is something that many homeowners are not even aware is a possible or necessary step to take. But if you want your boiler to last as long as possible, and to work as well as possible, then it is vital. There is a chance that your professional boiler engineer will find a problem that could have stopped you from having heating. No central heating during the winter months is the last thing you want, so you should make sure you get this done as soon as possible. And if the engineer finds a problem, no matter how small, ensure that they see to it as soon as possible. Otherwise it might also lead to further problems, some of which could even pose a safety threat to you and your family. Of course, you should be careful to shop around for an engineer whom you feel you can trust. This in itself can be quite tricky, but the main thing is to go on local reputation. That way, you are much more likely to be pleased with their outcome.
If you have ever experienced a winter of being freezing in your home, you know how miserable it truly can be. One of the biggest tools against that is insulation. All homes should have insulation of some kind, but it might not necessarily be up to scratch. If you think that your home could do with a bit of an overhaul in this area, then you should get it looked at as soon as possible. There are many different kinds of insulation, and the more you have, the better. Probably the most basic and essential type of insulation is loft insulation. The roof is where most of the heat is lost, so having this kind of insulation really does make a difference. Of course, even having double-glazed windows should make a huge difference. Without them, you will find that a lot of heat escapes through the windows. You should also ensure that your doors have proper seals around them. A lot of doors, particularly old ones, do not actually fit the frame properly. Then what happens is that the door gradually gets out of shape. This can cause all sorts of problems, and it also means a colder home. Getting these into order now will save you a lot of hassle later on. It will also mean that you, your family and your guests are all a lot more comfortable.
Pad The Pipes
One of the most frustrating things that can happen in winter is for the pipes to freeze. There is truly nothing worse than broken pipes just when you need them most. A basic housekeeping rule when it comes to pipes is to use them, if only a little, as soon as it starts to get cold. That way, they will have some heat going through them, and will be less likely to freeze. You can also get yourself even more protection by padding your pipes. This is something you can do your own if you like. However, if you want the professionals to do it, then you can contact the likes of Ben Franklin Plumbing. That way, you can be sure that the job is done properly.
Seal The Windows
On the topic of insulation, you also want to take a close look at your windows. This is a common problem area when it comes to losing heat, so you should prioritise this as soon as possible. You might not think that you have any issues in this area, and yet it is often the case that windows need fixing without you knowing it. Even the slightest draft from a window can be enough to cause a real pain at this time of year. Sealing those windows will make a considerable difference to how comfortable you feel in the home. What’s more, the difference it will make to your energy bills can be staggering. This is one step which you can’t afford to not take. If you are serious about this, you could even cover your windows in a thin plastic film. Come spring, you can then simply peel them off again.