The Ravages Of Winter And Protecting Your Home Against It

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As winter draws in each year, we batten down the hatches and close the drapes against the biting cold and blustery winds. We find ways to make our homes warmer, lighter and cozier. But it’s also important to add another level of protection against inclement weather.

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This year, keep the heat in and the weather out.

Good Home Maintenance

A well-functioning home is like an engine. It requires regular maintenance. Keeping on top of maintenance tasks throughout the year will avoid small issues becoming big problems. It will also make it easier to prepare for winter.

At the beginning of each year, make a list of home checks and jobs. Add them to your diary so they are not forgotten.

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Basics

When protecting against bad weather, start with the basics. Your first job is to keep the weather outside where it belongs. Your first check is, therefore, the roof. The roof is not a place for an amateur to be climbing, so complete your checks from the ground and the loft. Walk around the exterior of the property and check for anything visible to the naked eye. You’re looking for things like blocked gutters, cracks in the tiles, damage to the chimney, etc. Now use a pair of binoculars to get a better view.

Some issues are easier to spot in the loft area. Go up there during the day and turn off the light. Look for chinks of light which will reveal cracks or holes in the roof.

Now check doors and windows. Again, you’re searching for signs of damage and areas where drafts or water can enter. If you have double glazing, condensation or water between the panels may indicate a problem. If you live in an area prone to high winds or hurricanes, hurricane fabric will offer further, vital protection.

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Storm-Proofing

In the event of a storm or high winds, you can minimize safety risks and damage to your property by doing the following:

  • Remove or fasten down any garden furniture, garbage cans or other loose items
  • Repair any loose tiles on your roof
  • Trim back trees and large bushes that are close to your home
  • If possible, park your car in the garage and away from trees
  • If you’re aware of a storm approaching, unplug any unnecessary electrical equipment to prevent a power surge
  • Close your drapes to protect against smashed glass
  • As mentioned above, keep gutters clear of debris to allow water to flow freely
  • Arrange a backup generator in case the power grid is affected

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Cold And Snow

Extreme cold weather, ice, and snow have the potential to cause a lot of damage. Fortunately, there are ways you can prepare to mitigate risk.

  • Disconnect and drain garden hoses
  • If you have outside faucets and sprinklers, allow them to drain and turn them off
  • Cover basement windows and any foundation vents
  • Insulate any exposed pipes
  • The pipes under your sink are also at risk, so keep cupboard doors open to allow the heat from your home to circulate
  • If pipes freeze but have not burst, thaw them with a hair dryer
  • Allow faucets in the bathroom and kitchen to drip
  • Arrange for your furnace to be inspected before the onset of winter, and have chimneys cleaned