10 ways to prepare your home for winter

10 ways to prepare your home for winter

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With winter starting to nip at our heels, it’s the perfect time to make sure that you’re ready for everything the colder weather can throw at you. Here are our top 10 tips on preparing your home and family for our chilly climate.

1. Reinforce your roof

A poorly maintained roof can cause lots of problems, especially if it lets heat out or water in. To prevent heat escaping make sure that your loft insulation is topped up to maximum levels and that any holes are sealed. Meanwhile outside, make sure your tiles and flashing are secure and free from gaps and are cleaned as required.

Featured products:
Roof cleaner Roof sealant Loft insulation Flashing tape

1 - Reinforce your roof - image
A radiator situated in a family home

2. Turn up the heat

Although your boiler’s regular service should always be carried out by a professional, there are plenty of smaller tasks you can do to make sure your heating systems are performing efficiently. Simply bleeding your radiators improves their heat output, whereas log burners and stoves will benefit from a clean and freshly swept chimney or flue.

Featured products:
Bleeding keys Chimney cleaning Fireplaces & stoves Radiators & radiator covers Fans & heaters

3. Lighten the dark nights

As the days get shorter and natural light is in short supply, having fully functioning outside lighting becomes increasingly important for safety and security. Check your existing outdoor lights to see if any bulbs or fittings need replacing, then stock up on torches and batteries for your home and car so you’re prepared for power cuts or breakdowns.

Always contact a qualified electrician if you have any safety concerns.

Featured products:
Outdoor wall lights Solar lights Security lights Light bulbs Torches Batteries

Feel safe in your home as the evenings get darker
4 - Get pipes wrapped up - image

4. Get your pipes wrapped up

It’s not just people that benefit from a few extra layers come the colder weather, your pipes will appreciate being wrapped up snugly in the winter. Make sure that any pipes that are exposed to the cold are prevented from freezing by covering them in pipe insulation or wrap. Your loft will also love some fresh and fluffy insulation, especially if yours has lost volume over time.

Featured products:
Pipe insulation Pipe wrap

5. Fill in any gaps

Cold draughts can get through even the smallest holes, so before the weather gets too cold, go round your home and check for any gaps (especially around windows and doors). On windows: sealant, self-adhesive strips and window film can minimise heat loss, while draught excluder brushes are ideal under doors. For bigger holes expanding foam can plug up the problem in an instant.

Featured products:
Expanding foam Sealant Draught excluders Window film

Installation of a draught excluder
Get ready for icy weather

6. Care for your car

In addition to making sure that your car is mechanically sound for the colder weather, it’s a good idea to make sure you have some winter basics in your boot in case of emergencies. Some of the things you could keep to hand are: torch, de-icer, first aid kit, snow shovel, blankets and some food and drink. It’s unlikely you’ll need them but it’s good to be prepared.

Featured products:

Torches Snow shovels De-icers First aid kits

7. Unblock your guttering

Blocked or cracked guttering can cause water to run down your walls, potentially coming in to your home as damp. A good time to check and fix your guttering is after all the leaves have fallen and may be causing obstructions. Thoroughly clear out guttering and downpipes and replace any damaged sections or missing seals, it might also be worth considering installing guards or grills to prevent future problems.

Featured products:

Roof sealant Guttering sealant Guttering

Unblock your guttering image
8 - Groom your garden image

8. Groom your garden

Getting your garden ready for the winter is as much about safety as it is about preparing your plants for the harsher weather. By pruning trees and trimming hedges you’ll minimise the likelihood of fallen branches, while clearing up leaves especially on paths and patios will reduce the potential to slip. It’s also worth getting some path de-icer or rocksalt ready to defrost any dangerous ice.

Featured products:

Hedge trimmers Pruners & secateurs Shredders, blowers & vacuums Brushes & rakes Leaf grabber Leaf guard Chainsaws Rock salt

9. Feed feathered friends

Birds will really appreciate a bit of extra care and attention as the temperature drops. Keep feeders well stocked with lots of varieties of seeds, nuts and fat balls to make sure that all species are catered for. Bird baths can also freeze up in the cold weather so remember to break or melt the ice so they can enjoy a drink and a wash.

Featured products:
Bird feeders Bird food Bird tables

Feed feathered friends image
Be a good neighbour

10. Be a good neighbour

In the winter it’s nice to check on any friends who might be elderly or vulnerable and therefore struggle to get out in the colder weather. Whether it’s for a cup of tea and a chat or to find out if they need any essential shopping they’ll appreciate your concern.

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Use our guides to help you prepare your home for winter