Bracing your home for winter


Yep, it is definitely on the way

Last year I wrote a post about how Cosying Up For Winter can be achieved with lavish interior design themes.. From inviting brass beds, to rich indigo walls, and lush accessories, these all evoke a sense of cosiness. But aside from these decorative elements, you will also want you to feel the comfort from the inside out as well. Keeping your house winter-proof isn’t just about the fur throws, so I have compiled a number of pointers for you to stay super warm during the holiday season.

Inspect your home’s heating system

The average lifespan of a HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system is somewhere around 12 to 15 years, but some, if maintained properly, can last up to 20 years. UK home utilities experts, HomeServe, emphasise the importance of regularly checking your heating system to keep your home safe during the winter. Don’t take these precautions for granted, as they can make or break the overall condition of your home. It always pays to do proper and regular home maintenance.

Undertake regular roof repairs

Heavy snow and damp weather can do major damage if measures to prevent leaks are not taken. They can result in the serious deterioration of your home’s structure. It’s quite simple to replace a few missing or broken tiles and slats. Be wary if you have a shallower pitched roof, or a flat roof even, as puddled rainwater can end up in the wall cavities.

Purchase a carbon monoxide detector

Any heating systems can also increase sources of carbon monoxide (CO) which can be fatal. Appliances that are constantly burning fuel, from furnaces to water heaters, contribute to this toxicity. In this excellent Which Guide author, Matt Stevens, shares expert tips on carbon monoxide detectors being wise investments as they monitor the CO levels in the air. They will automatically alert you when they are too high, and are advised to be spread throughout the home so that they are more effective.

Clean your chimney and gutters

Before you build your first fire of the year, do have your chimney swept. This is especially important if you burn coal and if you have a brick chimney. The same goes for your gutters. If they’re backed up, they can overflow and damage your home’s exterior. The excess water can ruin foundations and cause flooding in your basement or below a covered porch. I was relieved to realise that my husband always does this and I am ashamed to say I had never even noticed!

Seal, seal, seal

Harsh elements can ruin the exterior finish of your home: wood can rot obviously. Replacing wood trim in homes is quite expensive, so, to prevent this from happening in the first place,  seal it with oil or paint or have the surface caulked to be made waterproof. Concrete surfaces should be sealed too. Take a look around to check for cracks, and seal them in where necessary to avoid water from freezing in.

Avoid pesky pests

Winter may be an active breeding ground for unwanted rodents and insects in your home, according to company Angie’s List. This is why sealing cracks as previously mentioned, is also important. Rodents can chew through most things, so galvanised copper is a wise obstacle to put in their way. Make sure your window screens are not torn to avoid bugs from sneaking through. Dark corners and dusty places are breeding grounds for little unwanted guests, so dust regularly and make sure your rubbish bins are covered to avoid attracting foxes.

Warm up your pipes

Pipes can burst when they are frozen. It may be tempting to completely turn off your heat upon stepping out of the house, but the Red Cross advises maintaining a temperature no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit, or around 13 degrees Celcius all day for them to stay warm. If you’ll be away for a significant period, you might consider turning off your water supply and draining the pipes as well. Add insulation in areas where it’s necessary, like attics, basements, or even small spaces.

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