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The sort of weather we’re in store for this winter is anyone’s guess, but no matter if we’re in for a mild few months or a wilder ride, it pays to be prepared. To protect your home from damage, keep costs down and increase comfort, it pays to keep on top of seasonal maintenance and ensure your place is ready for the wetter, colder season. 

Here’s a few ideas for inside and out. 

Clear your gutters

Blocked or broken gutters can cause a lot of damage to your home, but this can be prevented with a bit of care at the right time – and that time is now. Clearing your gutters of leaves and debris is a much easier job than what you’ll have to deal with if water ends up somewhere it shouldn’t. To reduce the chance of problems, it’s good to check gutters twice a year, in winter and again late spring. If you happen to come across a section of your gutter or downpipe that is damaged, you’ll need to replace it. If you need some help with this check out our Mitre 10 Easy As guide.

Light the way

With shorter daylight hours, you’re likely coming and going in the dark so it’s a good idea to install outdoor lighting. Lighting up paths and entranceways, makes navigating easier, particularly when it’s wet and slippery. For added security, consider adding sensor lights to alert you to any visitors.

 

How to install guttering

If you’ve got a roof structure, then guttering is a must, because council regulations require all your rainwater to be contained.

Install your own garden lighting

Good lighting makes it a safer place to walk, but also adds a great atmospheric element to your garden so you can enjoy it long after the sun goes down.

Stamp out damp

Homes can quickly become damp during winter, which makes them harder to heat and encourages unhealthy mould and mildew to grow. If there’s an underlying issue such as a burst pipe or leak then you’ll need to tackle that, otherwise the best way to reduce dampness is by improving ventilation and taking steps to reduce moisture inside. Here’s a few ideas:

  • Install a showerdome to eliminate shower steam in your bathroom.
  • Dry washing outdoors rather than in. If it’s unavoidable use a dehumidifier.
  • Install extractor fans in the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry, if possible.
  • Ensure appliances such as your dryer are ducted outside, directly transferring moisture outside your home.
  • Use lids on pots when cooking.
  • Keep windows open and regularly air your home.

Mind the gaps

Gaps around doors and windows are a common source of heat loss but can be easily fixed with weather strips or silicone sealant. Strips like these are a cost-effective way to seal your home, get rid of draughts and prevent heat from escaping. Take a look at our Easy As guide for more tips to reduce heat loss.

Up your insulation

Insulating your home is one of the best ways to maximise your heating dollar. It’s warmer in winter, cooler in summer, better for your families health and can save you money on your energy bill. Insulation traps heat inside, so you don’t need to produce as much to stay warm. Make sure you have good ceiling insulation, as up to 30% of your home's heat can be lost through the roof. Insulation is also a job you can do yourself, so check out our Easy As guides to learn how to install your own wall, ceiling or underfloor insulation.

 

Keep the cold out

A lot of your home’s heat escapes through your windows and doors. This guide shows you a number of ways to seal up your home.

Put safety first

Test your smoke alarms to ensure they’re working and check the wires of electric heater and dehumidifiers aren’t damaged or frayed. Clean the filters on heat pumps and if you’ve got a fireplace ensure it’s cleaned.

It’s also a good time to check your emergency supplies and expand or replenish them.

For more advice on smoke alarms, check out this seasonal reminder.

Scope the perimeter

Walk around your house and clear away any debris. Piles of leaves or right up against the house encourage mould and it’s also a good idea to cut back any overgrown bushes or branches that may cause damage if it’s particularly windy.

Smarten up security

Burglaries can happen at any time so it’s If you’re going to leave windows open to allow air to circulate, install window stays to limit how far the window can be opened. You might also want to consider adding deadbolts on doors and installing an alarm or camera system.

Feet first

Consider a new rug or if it’s time to replace your carpet, you’ll be amazed at how fresh flooring can increase comfort. Carpet and underlay provides added insulation as can a rug on wooden floors.