Home and Lifestyle

How to Look After and Prepare Your Home for Winter

 

Winter is a lovely time of year for staying in a curling up with a mug of hot chocolate, watching films with a loved one during the cold evenings. Whilst you can pile on blankets and layers of clothes to stay warm, unfortunately, your home cannot. The cold that the winter weather brings can lead to some serious damage to both the inside and outside of your property if you’re not careful. 

Hopefully this short guide will help you prepare for the increasingly cold days ahead of us. Let’s keep our homes warm, dry and safe! 

Guttering 

Gutters are made from fairly thin plastic that can be extremely susceptible to frost and ice damage or can lead to problems with other aspects of your property. If water is left puddling in your gutter it can freeze and expand, putting additional strain on the guttering material or creating collections of ice that stop the water from travelling through the gutter properly. 

This can lead to guttering damage and breakage or alternatively, the redirection of water into the roof or walls of your home. If left unchecked, this stray water can lead to structural instability, damp or mould problems, so keep an eye out! 

To prevent issues with your gutter, be sure to grab a ladder and clean them out, removing any branches, leaves, moss or mud that might have collected in them. This should prevent any water from puddling and in turn, stop any ice build up when it gets colder. 

Roof 

In winter, your roof is both the most important and most susceptible part of your property. It’s always in your best to make sure that your roof is 100% winter ready before the cold sets in but that doesn’t mean that you’re helpless if winter has already started. 

The main risks to your roof come in the form of snow and ice build ups which at their best will be harmless, but at their worst can be significantly more problematic. Snow storms and blizzards can put your roof under a lot of pressure and if it’s already structurally weak, the added weight can result in more concerning structural damage. However, this is rare, the major concern is the issue of ice dams. 

Ice dams form when snow melts on your room and refreezes, creating a slight ‘wall’ at the edge of your roof that prevents any water from rolling off. This forces the water to sit on your roof, giving it the potential to seep into your home and run down the walls, causing serious damp or structural damage.  

To avoid this, after a blizzard or large deposit of snow, be sure to get a ladder out and rake as much snow from your roof as possible (and whilst you’re up there, check the gutters again). 

Pipes 

Pipes are some of the most vulnerable parts of your property when it comes to the winter cold. It’s easy for the water or liquid within them to freeze, expand and crack the pipes, leading to shortages or even worse – leaks. To protect against this, insulate all of the pipes that you can, particularly those that are outside. Also, whilst you are inside your home, leave cupboards open that have pipes inside them so that the warm air within the property can reach the pipes and warm them up. It’s these little details that can make all the difference. 

With this short guide, you shouldn’t have a problem making sure your home is winter ready or if you’re already in the midst of winter, you should be able to look after your property and protect it from mother nature. Let me know if you have any other tips!

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