The last couple of winters have been unusually harsh. We've had to contend with heavy snow, gale force winds, severe storms, and temperatures that are far colder than normal. This has caused trouble for a lot of home owners, with loose roof tiles, damaged guttering and damp being just a few of the challenges faced by those who were taken by surprise when the seasons changed.
Fortunately, weather-proofing your home is not an expensive proposition. Taking a little time out of your schedule while the weather is still mild can go a long way towards saving you time, money, and stress during the peak of the winter.
Simple Weather Proofing Tips
- Gutters - clean out your gutters at the end of autumn. Getting rid of rotten leaves and debris will ensure that your gutter flows freely, saving you from dampness troubles.
- Paintwork - it's a good idea to re-paint every couple of years, to ensure that your home looks as good as possible. While repainting, check for damp and damage on the walls, and carefully inspect any exterior wooden doors for signs of rot or decay.
- Drains - make sure that any exterior drains are clear, undamaged, and flowing freely.
- Roofs - take a look at the roof to make sure there are no loose or damaged tiles. If you see any, get them replaced. Inspect flat roofs and make sure that their covers are intact and that there are no pools of water. Flat roofs should drain freely. If they don't, then fix them before that puddle becomes a leak.
- Chimneys - sweep your chimney at least once a year. If the chimney becomes blocked this could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Draft excluders - fit these to all interior and exterior doors. They're inexpensive, easy to fit, and can save a lot of money on heating bills.
- Heating systems - don't neglect your gas powered appliances. Regular servicing by a CORGI engineer is important, and could save your life.
If you have a garden, mow the lawn just before the end of autumn, trim any bushes or trees that need looked after, and inspect your pathways, fences, and exterior wooden doors. If anything needs repaired then you should make sure the work is finished before the winter starts. Loose paving stones can be dangerous during icy conditions, and a wobbly fence is likely to fall over when it is weighed down by snow!
Painting fences and exterior wooden doors is best done when the weather is dry. You should aim to treat wooden furniture, fences, and doors with waterproof coatings at least once every two years. If you decide to replace your fences, or your exterior wooden doors, then opt for the best hardwood that you can afford. Not only do quality woods look better than their cheaper alternatives, they are also more hardwearing, and offer better insulation than lower quality woods and cheap plastics. When it comes to weatherproofing, quality most certainly matters.
Thank you to Michal Marcol for the image.