Preparing Your Home for a Hassle-Free Winter

Preparing your home for a hassle-free winter

The days are getting shorter, the temperature has dropped, and you always grab a coat when you leave the house - winter is nearly here.

During these chilly months of the year, you probably want to avoid going out in the cold and try to keep a warm, cosy home to enjoy after a long day.

Before the regular frosts and damp days become a permanent feature, you might want to create a list of jobs to do to help get you through this winter.

Clear your gutters

It is best practise to clear your gutters, downpipes and drains regularly, but it is even more important going into winter as it is likely there has been a build-up of autumn leaves. 

The once lively, green leaves, that turned orange and fell could now have created a plug that had quickly blocked your gutters. Blocked gutters can lead to drainage problems, water leaks and flooding at ground level.

Water collected in blocked gutters could lead to water continuously running down exterior walls, and this can cause damp to set in.

Also, stagnant water may freeze in the gutters and downpipes, and this may mean they could come loose with the extra weight, or even fall completely. Additionally, any cracks and gaps could expand and create a new entrance for mice and rats to get into your home.

Make sure you take the time to clean your gutters to avoid any problems this winter.

Check all your taps and pipes

Do you know where your water comes from? Do you know where your main shut off valve is in case of a leak? 

There is always a chance of a winter freeze, and with temperatures plummeting that increases the risk of pipes freezing, and even bursting.

Insulating pipes could be a cost-effective way to prevent this from happening. We are lucky our winters are not as harsh in many areas of the country, compared to other countries. Let us hope we do not have a winter storm like the one that halted Texas earlier this year, causing widespread power outages, leaving homes cold and pipes bursting, causing flooding.

However, even though the risk is low in most parts of New Zealand, make sure you know where your main water taps are, and that you have no leaks before Jack Frost visits.

Keep the air flowing

You want to keep as much heat inside when it is cold outside, but it is important to keep good air flow all year round.

Shutting curtains and windows, retaining heat can lead to condensation, which causes dampness. To avoid this, it is good to keep windows open all year round, particularly in the kitchen and bathroom so that warm air has a way to escape.

Moisture that is collected on the internal walls can create a breeding home for mould, which can create health hazards.

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