Six Ways You Should Prepare Your Home for Autumn
The autumn and winter months may be cosy, but if your house isn’t prepared ahead of time, you may find that the cold weather brings plenty of stress – and extra expense. Beat the cold temperatures, rainy days, and blustery winds, and follow our six essential steps to prepare your home for autumn – and even save you some money.
Clear your gutters and drains
It’s nobody’s favourite job, but maintaining your gutters and drains is an essential part of getting your home ready for autumn and winter. Check for obvious cracks or damage and make time to clear your gutters of debris like leaves, moss, and mud before the wet and windy months start. Autumn leaves are lovely to look at, but they can easily cause a blockage – and come heavy rain or snow, you risk leaks or even greater damage if water can’t drain away from your house.
Get your boiler serviced
It’s easy to put off a boiler servicing – it can be expensive, and if your boiler is tucked away in a closet or airing cupboard it’s a case of out of sight, out of mind. But the very last thing you want is for your boiler to stop working in the dead of winter, leaving you and your family shivering. Not to mention, in the colder months you may struggle to find someone who can fix your boiler right away – and you may also end up paying more due to out of hours rates or emergency callout prices. Even if you have cover for your boiler, most policies may not pay out if your heating system hasn’t been properly maintained – so get your boiler serviced now and enjoy a cosy autumn with fully-functional heating.
Protect your pipes with lagging
A little investment in the milder months can pay off when the temperature drops – and one of the things you can do now to save you time and money come autumn and winter is to lag your pipes. Lagging simply refers to foam insulation tubes, which are inexpensive to buy and easy to install – just slip the foam tubing over external pipes (particularly plastic pipes) to reduce heat loss from your system. This will make your heating more efficient, helping you to save on energy bills – and lagging will also protect your pipes from freezing and bursting in cold weather.
Winter-proof your windows
If you have wooden window frames or windowsills, they might need a little bit more care and attention during autumn and winter. Wet weather and freezing temperatures can make untreated wood expand and even rot, so ahead of time, make sure you fill in any cracks, check that any sealant is still firmly in place and holding a good seal, and top up any paint if needed.
Take a look at your roof and chimneys
Your home’s roof is one of those things that you don’t really think about – until there’s a problem. Water leaking in from an improperly-maintained roof or chimney can damage your home, discolour your walls, and in the case of a bad leak, could mark or spoil anything you may keep in your attic. Even if everything seems fine now, all it takes is a heavy snowfall or a bad spell of wind and rain to dislodge tiles or mortar, allowing draughts and water to sneak into your home. Save yourself some stress come winter – check that your tiles are still firmly in place and that any flashing and pointing is still in good condition, or get a roofer to have a look if you don’t have easy access.
Check your garden, gates, and fences
No one wants to be doing any serious garden work in the cold or pouring rain – so make sure any maintenance you need to do gets done before bad autumn and winter weather hits. If your gates or fences are starting to warp or splinter, fix them, and make sure any metal fastenings aren’t rusting. Not only will this help to prevent further damage during the freezing winter months, but it will also help to keep your home, your family, and pets secure, and protect you from burglaries.
Autumn and winter can be hard on your house – but if you follow this guide and take precautions ahead of time, it doesn’t have to be hard on your wallet or your stress levels. A little bit of maintenance before the temperatures fall will make sure your home holds its value and give you a lot less to worry about.
For more inspiration on how to look after your home and handy financial guides, check out our blog.