With the temperature dropping and the days getting shorter now is a great time to carry out some general household maintenance. No one wants to deal with a household emergency, but an emergency in winter can be even more inconvenient as the temperatures begin to drop. Read on for tips for the essential home maintenance jobs to do this winter.
Check your guttering
With an increase in inclement weather, wind, rain and fallen leaves and other debris can cause havoc with gutters. Leaks are usually easy to spot as they can lead to rain sounding louder than usual or even miniature waterfalls as it cascades over a full or broken drain pipe.
Sometimes grabbing a ladder makes checking your drains is all that it takes, but if you don’t have tall enough ladders, can’t (or don’t want to) climb up them or perhaps access isn’t straightforward, then you might need to get someone out to take a look and clear or fix your gutters.
Now is also a great time to check for broken fasteners, sagging and bulging as well as most obvious cracks. Whilst gutters could be good for 10-20 years, with careful maintenance and dealing quickly with repairs needed you’ll ensure you get the longest possible life out of yours.
Protect your outdoor tap from freezing
Outdoor taps can freeze in very cold weather which can lead to freezing water can expand and then rupture pipes which can lead to significant water damage and a real home emergency.
Protecting your outdoor tap can be as simple as turning off the water supply to that particular faucet, alternatively insulating the tap with a tap cover or pip lagging can help protect it from harsh temperatures.
Assess your central heating
Once we start edging towards winter and as the nights begin to draw in many of us start turning our central heating systems back on. After many months of no use you could find problems in your system.
A common issue can occur when your radiators need bleeding, you’ll notice the sound of your central heating changes and individual radiators might sound much noisier than usual, alternatively, you could find cold patches in radiators. Similarly, you might find your boiler isn’t operating properly and might even display an error code.
Bleeding radiators is a simple job anyone can do, and likewise, depending on the type of boiler you have a simple reset or rebalance the pressure, anything else however, you’ll want to call on the skills of a professional. Make sure you check the Gas Safe Register to find businesses legally permitted to carry out gas work.
Deal with damp
The last thing anyone wants to find at any time of year is a damp patch. Damp can be a slow ongoing problem caused by any number of issues or damp can be caused by a more acute problem such as a leak inside your property.
Of course damp patches are usually easy to spot, just look for discolouration or flaking paint and wallpaper. You might also spot a musty smell if the damp is more established and excessive condensation on windows can also be a giveaway. If you suspect damp, you’ll want to try and get to the root cause.
A few common causes of damp include missing or damaged roof tiles, damage to brickwork or windows, rising damp coming up from the ground and broken or leaking water pipes.
Check the attic and roof
Winter is a great time to make sure your attic insulation is doing the job, also check for any possible gaps by spotting light coming through the roof, check for signs of sagging and make sure there are no damp patches or leaks.
Good insulation can help reduce heating costs and whilst loft insulation lasts for an average of about 40 years, but you’ll still need to check for signs of damage or wear and tear.
Check for external property damage
Have a general walk around the outside of your property to look for any signs of damage, from your gutters to roof tiles, brickwork to pathways. Over summer trees and even large shrubs can cause damage to property as they grow and it’s not always immediately obvious.
We’re quite aware of the spread of trees and large shrubs and can see the impact that a growing tree can have by looking at the spread of the crown and pruning back as needed, but growth from roots can impact groundworks and even cause damage to things like paved drives and pathways leading to uneven slabs that could be a trip hazard.
If you find a leak or need to carry out repair work around the home, you might need to temporarily relocate the contents of a room, attic or garage. Our sturdy plastic boxes aren’t just used for people moving home, but for those who need a temporary storage solution.
Because our crates are so strong and have lids, they can be stacked one on top of the other to save space and give you more room to work, and unlike cardboard boxes, they also offer some protection from damp conditions too. You can check out our range of sturdy storage crates here.