Winter Proof Your Home

2nd December 2013

Winter is now upon us which means that your home will be at the mercy of the harsh weather. This can cause damage and will also lead an increase in heating bills should the property not be winter ready.

Here we take a look at some of the key things you can do ensure your home doesn’t suffer any damage at the hands of the elements.

Start at the top
Most of the heat will be lost through the top of your house so you need to ensure you have good loft insulation in place to avoid this happening. Any water tanks or pipes in your loft should be insulated too to avoid them freezing as the damage caused and repair bills this would incur could be huge. Also general maintenance on your roof like repairing cracked roof tiles and ensuring gutters are clear is also important as overflowing gutters can soak the walls below leading to damp issues in the future.

Walls
The walls of your property are another main cause of heat loss with 33% of heat lost via the walls. So experts recommend cavity wall insulation as it will initially reduce your energy bills and down the line it will help to add value to your property. It is also worth checking the pointing on the walls as and gaps can lead to frost building up.

Paths and driveways
Check that any paths or driveways on your property are well drained and aren’t collecting water. This will avoid them freezing and causing accidents.

Floorboards
If you have stripped floors in your property placing rugs on the surface in winter can help to considerably reduce the amount of drafts there are coming up from between the floorboards.

Drafts
Another problematic source of drafts in the home are letter boxes and door frames. Checking that the cover for your letterbox is secure and the sealant around door frames in your home are simple but effective ways of eliminating drafts and will help reduce your fuel bills too.

Good ventilation
However it is not as simple as battening down the hatches and stopping every bit of cold air from entering the property as a lack of good ventilation (coupled with the heat internally from radiators etc) can cause a build-up of what can be litres of water that forms condensation on walls and window sills. Regularly opening the windows each day will prevent this occurring and if security is an issue most modern UPVC windows come with ‘condensation lock’ settings which allow ventilation while remaining secure.

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