Autumn is almost over, and winter is right around the corner, whether you like it or not. Unfortunately, with winter comes a list of problems that could wreak havoc on your home, leaving you cold, damp, infested, or even homeless. The last thing that you want is to have to suffer during the festive period, especially if you have small children, so you need to take steps to protect your home and know what to do if the worst does happen. Here are some common problems that people face during winter, and how you can handle them.
Throughout the year, when you don’t need your boiler very often, it works like a dream, with no issues whatsoever. However, when the cold weather hits, it always seems to stop working properly or just break down altogether. This can be an absolute nightmare, and a cold one at that, so you need to make sure that you are getting your boiler serviced regularly, no matter how inconvenient it may seem to be for you at the time. If your boiler does happen to stop working to the best of its ability, or just break down completely, you’re going to want to get your heating back on as soon as possible. Therefore, it makes sense to find a reliable and reputable boiler repair man now, so that you know you have one when you need them.
There is nothing more cozy than lighting a fire on a cold winter’s night and snuggling up on the sofa watching a film. Unfortunately, if you’re not careful, this could be incredibly dangerous, or even deadly. Chimney fires are a huge hazard during the winter months, so you need to make sure that you have your chimney cleaned and inspected before you think of lighting any fires this winter.
Like with your boiler, no one ever seems to notice a problem with their roof until winter, when a problem could potentially cause a whole lot of damage. Regardless, roof leaks are a huge issue during winter and are one that could leave you without a home, if you’re not careful. It always makes sense to get your roof checked before winter hits, but if you live in an area that gets a lot of rain or snow during winter months, then it’s even more important for you to do this. You should also keep an eye out for any problems yourself, and check your attic after big storms, just to see if any water has got in.
One problem that could result in a leaking roof is a clogged gutter. They could also cause leaks in the walls of your home and will result in damp at the very least. To avoid this, make sure that you are cleaning the leaves, dirt, and moss from your guttering regularly, and keep an eye on it to make sure that it’s not leaking anywhere.
As cold as the winter weather may seem to you, at least you don’t have to sleep outside. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for animals like rats and mice, and so they may try to find somewhere warm to make their own. If there is any part of your home that they can use to get in, then they may seize this opportunity. To avoid this, make sure that there aren’t any doors, windows, or cracks that they can get through, especially in your basement, and be on the lookout for anything that might have been chewed by a small creature. It’s also good to be prepared, just in case you do get some uninvited house guests during the winter, so find a local pest control company, like Natura Pest Control.
You might not necessarily view trees as much of a danger, but they are, especially during winter, and can cause a lot of damage to your home if you’re not careful. It’s not uncommon for the cold, wet, and icy weather to put stress on the branches of trees, causing them to snap off, and damage your home, fence, and gardens. The wind can also contribute to this, and can even cause whole trees to fall over, which will cause even more damage. To prevent this as much as possible, you should check that your trees can withstand the weather; If they can’t, you might want to consider having them trimmed, or chopping them down altogether.
One of the biggest issues that you will have to face during winter is frozen pipes, especially because of the even bigger problems that they can cause. A frozen pipe could crack, or even burst completely, and could lead to your home being completely flooded. The simplest way to prevent this is to ensure that your pipes are properly insulated, and have your heating on regularly. Also don’t be afraid to leave your faucet dripping slightly. While this is a waste of water, it makes sure that there is constantly water going through your pipes, so that they can’t freeze.
Draughts and air leaks are a problem that can go one unseen throughout the entire year, but they are particularly big problems during the winter when you want to keep as much heat in your home as possible. Heat escaping through your doors and windows makes it a lot harder to keep your home warm, which means that your gas bills are sure to rise higher and higher. Luckily, there are lots of things that you can do to keep your home insulated. The first that you should consider is doubled glazed windows, as these are the best way to do this. You might also want to consider replacing your curtains with thick, thermal ones during the winter months.
Winter can be a magical time, especially if you have children, but this magic can quickly be dimmed by problems with your home. No one wants to be left out in the cold, especially with Christmas right around the corner, so make sure that you do your bit to protect your home.
Disclosure: This is a contributed post.