As the icy winds start to blow and the temperature drops, it’s time to prepare your home for the winter months ahead. Whether it’s at the front of your mind or somewhere in the background, taking time to protect your house from harsh weather conditions and freezing temperatures can save you costly repairs and ensure a cosy, comfortable and happy living environment for the months to come.
8 tips for getting your house winter-ready
Depending on a number of different factors, winter can be a challenging season for your home. But with proper preparation and some forward-thinking, there are a few simple things you can do to prevent any potential difficulties. From preparing your garden to servicing your boiler, here are 8 helpful tips for getting your home winter-ready.
1. Clean your gutters
It might not cross your mind, but checking your gutters is an important task for winter. With leaves falling in the autumn and the potential for sleet, snow and ice as it gets colder, clearing debris from gutters and downspouts ensures proper drainage. The last thing you want is to battle any leakages or water damage to your home. If you don’t have any gutter guards, now is a great time to invest in some.
2. Improve your insulation
Keep your energy bills under control by improving your home’s insulation. For new-build properties you’re already in a great position, but there are still a couple of things you can do to ensure maximum efficiency. Unlike older homes, where you may need to consider boiler upgrades, better roof insulation and investing in double glazing, here are a few further simple little things to think about.
How to improve your insulation
Invest in better curtains/blinds – Just as important as keeping the sweltering summer heat out, thicker curtains/blinds can also help keep the heat in. Draw them as it starts to get dark and prevent heat escaping into the night.
Move furniture – We know it’s lovely to have your rooms just the way you like it, but if your furniture blocks the radiators, it’s preventing proper circulation. While your bed or sofa might be toasty and warm, the rest of the room won’t be, so don’t be afraid to give your radiators some space to breathe.
Draught-proofing – Even with their excellent build quality, new-build homes may still benefit from a couple of clever draught-proofing add-ons. For example, adding draught excluders to your letter box or key holes.
Ventilation – In all the effort you’re doing to keep the heat in, don’t forget about the importance of ventilation. Make use of your extractor fan, check that your vents aren’t blocked and air can flow freely through the house.
3. Get your roof inspected
You know the old phrase ‘better safe than sorry’? Well, even in new-build homes life just happens sometimes. Whether the culprit is bad weather or a run-in with a rogue Christmas decoration, cracked and missing roof tiles are more than a nuisance, they’re a hazard that could cost you both unnecessary money and even invalidate your home insurance. Start by taking a look at your roof from the street and noting any potential issues, but don’t worry if the idea of climbing a ladder makes your legs wobbly. The easiest way to prevent any surprise leaks or water damage is by getting a professional roof inspection.
4. Service your boiler
Servicing your boiler should be done annually, but especially when preparing for winter. There are few things quite as miserable as navigating frigid temperatures without heating or hot water, so it’s best to spot any issues before they become a real problem.
5. Check your radiators
This shouldn’t be an issue in your new-build home, but giving your radiators a quick check never hurt anyone. If you feel any cold spots or that your radiator isn’t heating up as well as it should do, you may need to bleed it.
6. Check your insurance coverage
Home insurance is a no-brainer, but if it’s been a while since you checked your policy, now is a fantastic time to review the level of cover it provides. Between the risk of flooding, storm damage, home emergencies, or even boiler coverage, it’s always good to have the facts to hand in case you have to call on them. In addition, you should know exactly where to find your home insurance policy documents, just in case.
7. Prepare your garden
From covering up garden furniture and mulching, to planting cover crops and bulbs for the spring, winter is a time of calm to prepare your garden for the next season. Uproot or protect your tender plants, de-weed right down to the roots, tidy up your beds and cut back any overgrown plants, and don’t forget about helping out your friendly garden wildlife.
Before things get icy, it’s also a good chance to pressure wash your patio, paths or driveway to remove dirt or debris that might be a slipping hazard under the right conditions.
8. Prepare your home for travelling
Whether you’re staying with family for Christmas or headed off on a lovely winter holiday, you may be tempted to switch the heating off to save some cash. However, even when you’re not home, it’s best to let your heating do its thing. Even at a lower temperature, bumping your heating will help reduce the risk of any nasty surprises (like burst or frozen pipes) when you get home.
How Durkan Homes properties are perfect for winter
From sustainable building materials and practices, better energy efficiency and excellent customer service, by choosing a Durkan home you won’t have to worry about escaping heat, leaks or anything unexpected. Just sit back with a warm cuppa and a good book, and enjoy winter in proper comfort. Take a look at our developments today to find your new home.