10 simple tasks to help you stay warm, safe and energy-conscious this winter.

The mornings have a definite nip in the air and the heating is firing up, which means only one thing; we are well into autumn and not far from winter. If you’ve not already got your home ready for the colder weather, then this is the time to do it. With this in mind, here’s our top 10 list of must-do winter proof jobs.

  • Roof – Ice, snow and wind often associated with winter weather can play havoc with roof tiles. Loose tiles not only let in water but can also be blown off the roof in high winds. So, it’s a good idea to periodically check (or get a professional to do it) the appearance of your roof tiles and make good any damage that you find.
  • Gutters – After the heavy leaf-fall of the autumn months, it is very easy for gutters to become blocked. Once gutters become blocked they can no longer serve their purpose of channeling water away from the structure of your home.  If snow falls as well as heavy rain, you could easily see gutters collapsing under the weight and causing costly damage to your home. Have gutters cleaned regularly or look at installing anti-leaf blockers, which stop blockages all-year-round. When clearing the gutters, remove everything from twigs and leaves to caked-on dirt. Check that the downpipes are clear of obstruction and then ensure the entire system is unclogged and leak-free by running water through it.
  • Facias – It’s s a good idea to check the integrity of your home’s facias. Similarly, to your roof tiles, if there are any cracks or gaps these will need repairing ahead of the winter weather to prevent further damage.
  • Doors & windows –  Check all windows for signs of damage and make any necessary repairs. Draughty windows and doors will lead to soaring fuel bills.
  • External pipework – Check all external pipework for signs of wear and be prepared to insulate any exposed water pipes when the temperature really drops.
  • Drains – Keep drains clear of mulch. If water cannot run freely it may pool around drains and freeze causing a dangerous slip-trip hazard around your home’s perimeter and/ or damage driveways and paths.
  • Brickwork and paving – Water ingression can cause severe damage to brickwork, paving and driveways so it’s best to check for any signs of visible damage and get some repairs done before the harsh weather sets in.
  • Trees and bushes – Check all overhanging trees for branches that may crack and fall during periods of high winds or frost. Trim back any larger trees around the property and drive to prevent branches falling onto your home, car or family when the cold weather sets in.
  • The garden – Now is the time to start protecting delicate plants. Temperatures are now beginning to drop to close to freezing during the night so moving your flowerpots indoors will protect them. It’s also time to bring in all garden furniture and things like trampolines to protect them against the winter weather.
  • Clean out your garage –  Consider scheduling an annual cleaning out of your garage. Like a seasonal sorting out of your wardrobe, push what you won’t be needing―the lawn-mower, hedge trimmer, rakes and summer toys―to the back and bring any winter necessities―shovels, sledges, salt and de-icer―to the front.
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