Winter is well and truly here, and home owners throughout the UK should have taken all due precautions to protect their homes from everything that the weather will throw at us. As Andrew Lowe, head of Direct Line Home Response 24, says, “Homeowners shouldn't forget the importance of taking precautions to protect their homes against wintry weather.” A few quick and easy jobs done in advance could prevent an array of damage, including burst pipes.
If you haven’t weatherproofed your home yet, don’t worry, you can still take steps to protect your home for the rest of the wintry weather. Here are a few home improvement tips that will not only make for a warm winter home, but will also increase the value of your property in the long run.
• Insulate your loft
According to the Energy Saving Trust (EFT), a quarter of British homes do not have any loft insulation because home owners are worried about the costs of installation. However, insulating your loft will save you significant costs in the long run by reducing heat loss by about 50%.
Visit Energy Saving Trust for more information on home insulation.
• Protect the roof
Check for any loose or missing tiles and get them fixed post-haste, else you could have a major leak on your hands come rain and snow.
• Repair the brickwork
Giving the outside brickwork of your home a quick paint-over with some resilient, outdoor paint will fortify the walls against the effects of winter weather, and help insulate your home to prevent further heat loss.
According to OurProperty.co.uk, some specialised compounds available on the market, such as Never Paint Again Clearshield, can do an even better job of making the outer layers of your home watertight.
Damp-proof your home
You may have to call in a professional damp-proofing company to carry out the necessary treatment, but it will be worth it in the long run, as it will prevent the buildup of the excess moisture that produces mould.
Clean gutters and drains
Everyone knows what leaves do in autumn. They fall. Quite a few of them will have ended up in drains and gutters, clogging them up and giving the rainwater nowhere to go except places you'd rather it didn't.
So clear your drains and gutters. It may be arduous work but it will leave you well prepared for the winter. Be sure to hire a professional roofer to check any drains on your roof as well.
Invest in a new boiler
It may be expensive, but if your boiler is more than 5 – 7 years old it's the best investment you can make in terms of weatherproofing your home. The last thing you want during winter is a boiler breakdown.
Make sure the pipes running through your home are in good condition, as water damage is one of the biggest threats to your property. These days a lot of homes have multiple bathrooms which means more pipes and greater potential for leaks. Fit any pipes that will be exposed to the cold, such as those on your external walls, with an insulation wrapping (otherwise referred to as pipe lagging). This will help prevent them from freezing.
Featured image "Heading Home" via thebarrowboy