As winter rolls around, it’s integral that you prepare your house for the colder weather. As tedious and time-consuming as this may seem, not checking your home’s exterior can lead to unwanted and expensive problems and repairs.
To aid you in this process, our BC Profiles team have compiled a list of five things to look out for during winter maintenance, from paintwork problems to potential burst pipes, read on below.
1.Keep On Top of Your Guttering
As innocuous as it might seem, your guttering can quickly cause you problems during the winter months. Regular maintenance should include checks for leaves blocking the pipes and guttering; doing so will ensure that blockages are not leaking and causing water to damage your internal walls during heavy rain, an issue which can lead to damp.
You should also check that the gutter and pipes are not damaged, loose or cracked to ensure rainfall is efficiently drained away, while it’s also a good idea to inspect fittings such as screws and bolts for rust, a problem which could cause the guttering to give way.
Our ‘How to Fit Guttering’ guide offers some great advice on installing and testing your guttering.
2. Deal with Damp
Damp is a widespread problem thanks to the notoriously mixed British weather, particular in older houses. Whether it’s a mild case of mildew on your walls and peeling paint or potentially more serious structural problems, it’s important that you deal with damp quickly. You can spot potential problems by keeping an eye out for stained walls, warped or damp wood, peeling paint, mould on wallpaper, salt deposits on walls, water droplets from condensation and signs of a musty smell. It’s important not to confuse some of these signs with standard condensation within your home, for more tips on the causes and treatments of damp, check out our damp proofing guide.
3. Check Your Roof Tiles
Checking your roof tiles, chimney and dry verge for damage is another important step to take during any annual winter maintenance. You should keep a lookout for any broken tiles on both the roof and the ground, a surefire sign that there may be issues with your roofing, as well as any damp and damage to your dry verge. Accessing the underside of your roof via the loft, you should also inspect the bottom of your roof, around the chimney stack and along the dry verge for leaks, damp and damage. For help installing and checking dry verge, browse our ‘Dry Verge Installation’ guide.
4. Mind the Gap
Draught proofing is another thing to tick off of your winter maintenance checklist. This problem is more apparent in older homes, however, newer builds aren’t immune! Check for any gaps around doors, windows and skirting boards which could potentially let in a draught. Ways to combat this include applying decorator’s caulk to seal gaps, investing in keyhole covers for doors as well as draught brushes or draught excluders for the bottom of the door. If your floors aren’t carpeted, you should be wary of any gaps in the floorboards that might let in cold air. A simple way to combat this is by purchasing a rug to help insulate, however you can invest in draught-proofing systems or even fill gaps in the floorboards using woollen string and glue.
5. Set-Up Your Heating System
It’s vital that you check your heating system and make sure that everything is in order before winter sets in. Check that your boiler is firing on all cylinders and that the pressure readings are just right, as well as inspecting that all of your radiators and thermostats are running efficiently and there are no underlying problems to worry about. An annual boiler service is always recommended to ensure that your boiler is both safe and in working order for that extra peace of mind, while it’s also a good idea to keep your radiators running. By setting your radiators with a timer and keeping them running at a low heat during the day, not only will your house be warm when you return, but you’ll also prevent your pipes freezing over too.
If you’d like more trustworthy guides and up-to-date DIY information from the experts, head on over to our BC Profiles help and advice centre