We’ve cautiously gotten used to warm weather and humidity after being spoilt with our last two good summers but it’s time to start looking ahead and remembering what our winters can be like. Autumn is the perfect time to prepare your home for colder days. Before you start wrapping up warm and turning in for an evening in front of the fire, be sure to utilise the placid Autumn weather to make sure you home is winter proof.
1 – Keep The Heat In
Now is the time to repair that crack in the window or seal as come winter tracking the drafts in your home will be a lot less fun when icy winds rage outside not to mention very expensive. Walking slowly around your house with a lit candle may scare the kids but it’s a great way of telling where the main draughts are. Caulking or weather stripping can fix some leaks on windows due to shrinkage with the drop in temperature and door sweeps on the bottom of doors will stop the heat getting out. Most heat is lost through the attic so a proper inspection of your attic insulation is a must.
2 – Clean Your Carpets
If you’re a friendly host chances are Christmas will be your busiest season with many friends and relatives visiting and dropping by. A good steam clean of your carpets will brighten your home upand make it extra welcoming before they all come in and dirty it up again. Sigh.
3 – Flood Preparation
Unfortunately we’ve had our fair share of flooding in recent years so if you’re in a potential danger zone there are some things you can do to prepare. Having items like sandbags, floorboards, wrapping and a shovel close by will come in handy. Ensure all cracks and leaks in windows are fixed, check for gaps in brickwork and store your most valuable and sentimental items above ground level. Oh and buckets. You can never have enough buckets.
4- Protect Your Guttering
It’s not just ground level you need to think about however. Excessive rain can cause roof guttering to overflow which in turn can damage the roof. A simple ‘twister’ is a type of gutter brush you can get to protect your gutters. It filters out leaves, twigs and other debris that can get thrown up in bad weather. Also as a bonus it kind of looks like a fancy fur lining for your roof!
5- Give Your Fireplace A Once Over
If you’re lucky enough to have a real fireplace it’s very important to make sure it’s kept in good condition so you can enjoy it all winter long. If you know what you’re looking for you can do a basic inspection but to save you getting soot in your eyes, it’s best to hire a professional chimney sweep. Things they will look out for are flammable ash buildups, cracks in masonry, ensuring the damper works and inspecting the chimney from the roof down.
6 – Alarms
You’ve checked your fireplace but you never know what could start a fire so make sure to refresh the batteries in all your smoke detectors. Carbon monoxide is known as the ‘silent killer’ as it’s odourless and colourless. If you don’t already have a detectors installed for this deadly gas you should get one put in and it will need to be serviced annually by a registered gas installer. Now is a good time to ensure you have a Fire Escape Plan in place with family members and that all children know how to follow this.