Preparing Your Home for Winter

As the temperatures begin to get colder and we find ourselves driving home in the dark once more, we all know that winter is on its way. Although we are currently being treated to wonderful displays of rich, vibrant autumnal colours wherever we go, it won’t be long before the trees are bare and it takes five minutes just to layer up enough to leave the house!

During the coldest months of the year, our homes are our sanctuary against the harsh weather and freezing temperatures outside. This is the time of year when curling up in front of the TV with a blanket and a hot drink becomes so much more appealing than braving the elements to head out; the season of comfort food and preparing for the celebrations of the festive period.

Although cleaning, maintenance and home improvement tasks are most commonly associated with the start of the year (spring cleaning and the ‘New Year New Me’ mentality come to mind) it’s also important to make sure that your home - your sanctuary - is safe, secure and comfortable enough to guide you through the winter months.

To that end, here are some top tips designed to help you get your home ready and waiting for the onslaught of winter weather.

General Maintenance
Before the arrival of snow and ice, make sure to complete any outstanding general maintenance tasks. If you leave things unfinished, the chances are that they won’t be completed until spring and the winter weather could even make things worse!

In preparation for winter, you should make sure that your garden, driveway and any outbuildings like sheds, garages or playhouses are secure and weather-proof. Safely stow away any delicate garden ornaments as well as gardening tools and machinery like lawnmowers. If you are able, you should also give your guttering and downpipes a once-over to check for any damage. While you’re at it, it’s also advisable to clear any debris or fallen leaves from the guttering to enable rainwater to drain effectively.

Check for Damp
Although damp can occur all year round, it is at this time of year when many people begin to notice it. With the colder weather, windows and doors are kept closed to trap the heat in the room, meaning that excess moisture has no easy way of escaping. Similarly, seasonal rain showers can also contribute to damp if there are gaps in your home’s brickwork or roofing.

Do a sweep of your home, inside and out, and check to see if there are any signs of damp including musty smells, damp patches on walls or ceiling or discoloured, flaking paintwork or wallpaper. If you do spot anything untoward, it’s always best to call in the experts and get the problem resolved before it worsens!

Get It Warm

Of course, one of the main things that you are going to want to achieve here is to get your home as warm as possible for the colder months. There are many things you can do to make this a reality, some small and some more significant. Some of the larger changes you can make for a long-term warmer home might include: changing the materials used in the home, so that for instance you have oak flooring and oak beams, which tend to hold in heat a lot better. You might also want to make sure you have double-glazing on your windows.

There are smaller changes to make in this same regard too, of course, and they are more day to day activities which help in keeping the place warm. Also remember that you should service your boiler around this time, just to ensure that it is really operating as it should for the colder months.

Household Pests
Although the wasps, bees and buzzing insects that plague our homes during the summer may have disappeared, the colder months of the year bring their own creepy crawlies, wildlife and household pests.

During autumn, many people see an influx of spiders entering their homes and while they won’t sting you or buzz around your head like a wasp, many of us are less than happy about sharing our home with autumn’s eight-legged visitors. There are many different methods out there for deterring spiders, from special sprays to placing conkers around doorways and windows.

Another household pest you might encounter (and indeed, a more problematic one) is woodworm. If you do suspect that your home may be suffering from a woodworm infestation, see here for more information.

Comfort and Cosiness
Your home is your haven and during winter, this is more important than ever. When the rain is lashing down outside, there’s truly nothing better than sitting inside all warm and cosy!

While some people like to completely redesign and redecorate their living space in accordance with the changing seasons, for others, a few simple changes or new additions can make all the difference. For winter, interior trends are all about maximising the warmth and comfort that a room can bring – think rich, deep colours and plenty of comfortable furniture, cushions and throws. Complete the look with a plush, fluffy rug and spaces for your favourite Christmas decorations, and your home will be winter-ready before you know it!

Of course, it’s also important to remember that not everything on this list will apply to each individual home. You know your home better than anyone else, so use your common sense and if you think something needs replacing, repairing or simply updating, now is the time to put your DIY skills to the test (or call in the experts!) and get it resolved before winter arrives. 

- Collaborative post.

1 comment

  1. These are all useful reminders, thank you. I love the cosiness part of the winter prep, but I know the other things are more important!


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