Cold weather is often bad news for buildings. Therefore, some preventative maintenance is often in order for homeowners in winter. Preventing those freezing breezes and ice from damaging your property is often a more affordable option than trying to repair the damage after the fact. Plus, when the weather outside is frightful, isn’t it worth having an interior that’s as snug and as comfortable as can be?
Let’s take a look at a few of the steps you might take to prepare for the season.
Preventing heat from escaping through the walls, windows and doors is critical if you’re going to keep the space warm. Of particular importance is loft insulation. Since hot air rises, it’ll escape through the roof – and thus insulating the loft can yield significant dividends. Plus, it’s relatively cheap, and you can do it yourself without putting yourself out too much.
Loft insulation grants are available under the ECO scheme, which means they do not have to be paid back. Free-insulation-grants.co.uk can help you access insulation grants.
The spaces around your exterior doors could provide an opportunity for cold air to sneak into your home. You might get around this in several ways. Compression strips can provide a tight seal, thereby limiting the drafts. If your existing ones have lost their elasticity, it might be worth seeking some replacements. Around the bottom of your doors, you can place a draft-excluder – or you can use a rolled-up old towel. Naturally, in the long-term, a replacement door is a better option for many homes.
Install Extra Heating
Simply adding an extra radiator or panel heater or two will help to make your interior that little bit cosier. The electric variety can be plugged into a three-pin socket, but if you choose to hardwire them, you’ll get the same energy-saving potential.
Small holes in the exterior of your property can allow cold air to reach the inside. Plug these with an exterior-friendly sealant. Latex is often the go-to choice. Gaps of this sort are most likely to occur around windows and doors – but they’re also common around exterior vents.
Any water-carrying pipework that runs through a cold space, like a garage, is vulnerable to freezing. Water has a tendency to expand slightly as it freezes (which is why solid water floats on the liquid kind). This will cause your pipes to burst if you haven’t adequately surrounded them with lagging.
If you happen to live near to a sizeable tree, then you’ll have to put up with your gutters getting clogged with stray leaves every year. This can severely limit their ability to distribute water from your house down to your drain. In some cases, this will cause the gutter to overflow – or to buckle beneath the weight of all that water. Get around this by clearing the leaves every year.
As the nights draw in earlier, you’ll end up spending a great deal more energy on lighting. By investing in energy-efficient LED light bulbs, you’ll be able to massively reduce your energy expenditure. So much so, in fact, that the bulbs will pay for themselves.