As we're facing frosty mornings once again with winter coming into full effect, it's important to understand what can happen to your home and whether property maintenance or repairs are needed in preparation.
This can include boiler repairs, insulation and other ways that you can prevent having no heating or hot water as the weather plummets.
Let’s look at common household issues in winter and some tips and tricks to weatherproof your home.
What Can Happen to Your Home in Winter
If you don’t keep up with your annual boiler services or don’t make preventative checks, your boiler is more likely to break down during cold months, which could leave you without heating or hot water.
Did you know that cold weather is one of the biggest causes of pipe damage?
This is due to freezing temperatures causing the pipes to expand and pressurise.
When moisture meets cold temperatures and little ventilation, mould is a common result.
Blocked gutters in winter can result in ice dams, which are essentially debris and ice.
The Grouting Around Your Windows Might Crack
Fluctuations in temperature can make your sealant pull away or break apart, which then causes a frosty draught.
Your Foundations May Get Damaged
House foundations can face damage during winter due to ice freezing and melting continuously. This can actually shift the soil and move your home’s foundation.
Door Frames Could Rot
Your door frames might not be safe during the cold months. This is because they are also exposed to temperature drops which could create soft or damp spots. Once damp, it becomes a breeding ground for rot.
Now, chimneys are sturdy structures, but even frost can be its downfall.
Your chimney might fall victim to cracks due to fluctuating temperatures outside and the internal temperature of a live fire.
Plaster Cracks Are No Joke
Due to a drop in humidity, materials such as plaster will start to shrink and crack. This is why you can often see hairline cracks in the corners of ceilings or beside door frames.
Water pooling from melting ice or snow can create chaos on roof shingles as water could seep into your attic and damage your insulation and roof sheathing.
Beware of Fallen Branches
Tree branches can break off and cause damage to your property, car, or electricity.
This is because snow can pack a lot of weight onto a branch, which could lead to it eventually snapping off.
How to Weatherproof Your Home for Winter
Weatherproofing your home is the most important thing you can do to minimise the risk of needing to carry out costly property repairs.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Bleed your radiators to improve efficiency and reduce damage.
- Address roof repairs now to prevent leaks.
- Get your chimney professionally swept to get rid of debris and check for cracks.
- Insulate your pipes to prevent heat loss and bursts.
- Clear the gutters and downpipes to prevent a build-up.
- Book your annual boiler service to keep your boiler in good shape.
- Insulate your loft space to steer clear of heat loss.
- Make sure that you have good ventilation in your home and ensure that windows are kept open when steam is in the room, for example when cooking or showering.
- Add draught proofing to windows and doors to stop cracks and moisture.
- Insulate the outdoor taps to prevent bursting.
- Draught proof open fires.
- Test your heating and top up your oil if needed.
- Invest in waterproof paints, tarps, and sealants.
- Use heavier or thermal curtains to keep heat in.
Other things you could do include:
- Trim tree branches before winter to minimise the risk of a fallen branch damaging your property.
- Fill in minor soft areas in your doorframe with something like epoxy wood filler.
- Fix any garden drainage issues.
- Check your windows and reapply sealant to any damaged areas to keep the heat in and save money on your heating.
- Make sure that you are cleaning your gutters before winter and keep a close eye on them throughout the season.
- Check to see whether you are eligible for grants or funding that may help to pay for any of the above.
So, What Are the Benefits of Weatherproofing Your Home?
There are so many! Not only will you save a lot of time, stress, and money on house repairs, but your home will also be in tip-top shape to last.
- Save money on your energy bills.
- Protect your home against water damage.
- Your house will be more attractive to buyers.
- Help prevent mould and mildew.
- Improve the appearance and function of your home.
These tips will help you save on your energy bills.
When to Weatherproof Your Home for Winter
Weatherproofing your home is most effective before you reach the colder months. So, somewhere around summer and autumn may be your best choice so that you are able to have the time needed to undertake all necessary tasks.
This is simply because you will want to prevent and repair any damages before issues arise. Making sure that your home is in the best shape it can be is the best way to tackle the frost and chilly weather before it hits your home.
Regardless, remember that in the event of a breakdown, Contact On The House
for speedy repairs, or to read more about what we do and how we help property owners, don’t hesitate to check out our website.
Like we always say, On The House, property repair, anywhere!
Don’t wait until you are snowed in to make the necessary precautionary maintenance checks. Do it now!