The winter home maintenance checklist that’ll probably help save you money!
Owning a home can be hard work and a total money pit right? We’ve got a smug organised home maintenance checklist that if you get your ass in gear will probably help save your money over winter and turn out pretty handy at preventing expensive problems….
How to get your home ready for winter
Winter Home Maintenance Checklist
1. Clear the gutters
Clearing the gutters of leaves and moss will help rainwater to run freely into the drains and prevent water backlogging and seeping down your brickwork causing damp inside.
Now you could get a ladder out and get up there and do it yourself if your that type… or you could book a handy *person* to come get them done for you.
2. Service the boiler and bleed the radiators
Your boiler and central heating take a hammering over winter so it’s always best to make sure it’s in good and safe working order. Servicing the boiler isn’t a job you can do yourself. Always book a Gas Safe Registered Engineer don’t ever cut corners when it comes to boilers it’s just not safe.
Bleeding the radiators is totally a job you can crack on with yourself – you just need the little radiator key and about 15 minutes to do the whole house. Bleeding the radiators gets rid of any trapped air meaning the hot water can fill them up and keep the rooms warmer.
There’s an easy to follow British Gas Youtube video here which shows you exactly how to do it.
3. Insulate Pipes, Lofts and Walls
Whilst I’m on a roll with the whole heating and boiler thing – one key winter job would be to insulate any pipes that are at risk of freezing up – maybe check the loft, attics or cellars or any pipes which run outside. If you think they might freeze…. and the burst, it’s worth wrapping them in pipe lagging which will help keep the heat in, lower heating costs and help to prevent frozen and burst pipes.
Obviously loft and cavity wall insulation are great investments too as they do cut down on heating bills and keep the house a whole lot warmer.
4. Carbon Monoxide Detectors
There’s literally no excuse for not having these fitted at home – they could actually save your life. You can usually buy a good quality carbon monoxide detector from around £20 – always buy from a reputable shop and don’t cut corners – you want one that’s going to work well. Check out the Which guide to carbon monoxide detectors here for help with choosing the best one for you.
And if you’ve already got carbon monoxide detectors then it’s a good time to check the battery and replace if necessary.
5. Exterior Home Maintenance
The last few bright, dry weeks of autumn are ideal for getting on with any exterior home maintenance jobs – paint flaking off a fence or gate then sand it and repaint it – it’ll save you the cost of a new gate when it rots over the winter.
It’s also a good idea to take a glance up at the roof – just to check for any loose slates or guttering that might blow down in a storm. Better to get it fixed before it becomes a bigger and more expensive issue.
As part of exterior home maintenance it’s always a good idea to just spray a bit of WD40 into locks, hinges and window mechanisms – just keeps them running smoothly.
6. Sort the Garden Ready for Winter
Now is really the last chance to cut the lawn, tidy up any flower beds for winter and prune back any over grown bushes or shrubs.
Clean down and store away any garden furniture for the winter. Protecting garden furniture and BBQ’s or pizza ovens just means it all lasts longer and won’t need replacing quite so soon.
Make sure you fix anything that’s broken – take time to nail that fence panel back up, fix the loose bracket on the drain pipe – if it’s broken, fix it.
If you’ve got pathways or drives that have accumulated moss then jet wash them down to stop them becoming stupidly slippy every time it rains….
7. Home Security
Winter is the time of year when house burglary increases, early dark nights make it much easier for your home to be targeted. There’s loads of ways you can help protect your home and make it less of a target.
- Install a home security system or burglar alarm
- Install shed and garage alarms
- Get outdoor security lighting
- Install security cameras – systems such as Nest Cam, Canary, Arlo and Hive View all work well.
- Look at automated lighting – systems like Philips Hue are super easy to set up and with Smart Bulbs you have full control over your lights from your mobile phone app wherever you are.
Obviously a home security system, security cameras or Smart lighting can be a large expense but a lot of these modern systems are modular and you can install and set them up yourself which means you can just buy as and when your budget allows and add to your home gradually.
8. Draft Exclusion
A quick walk around your home will tell you which windows and doors are letting in a draft. Get it fixed – even if it just means buying or making a draft excluder. It’ll save you money in the long run.
9. Smoke Detectors
Again… no excuse with this one – get them fitted, and check the battery every week. Get more information on fire safety here from the Fire Service
10. Power Cut Supplies
Power cuts are way more likely in the winter – be just a little bit prepared and throw together a box of supplies, somewhere easily accessible that’ll help take the edge and boredom off the inconvenience.
Great things to throw in your power cut supply box are….
- a few torches
- battery powered tea lights
- snacks – crisps and chocolate
- bottle of red wine… if you’re going to be cold and sit in the dark you may as well have a glass or two to pass the time….
- pack of cards – because who knows how long it’ll be before wifi and TV are back up
- mini first aid kit… because no doubt you will have smacked into a few things on your way to drag out the power cut box.
You might also like our BIG Pre- Christmas Clean – a little guide for decluttering your house prior to Christmas.