8 ways to prepare your house for Winter
As the temperatures begin to drop down to single digits, many Australians are bracing for the chilly Winter ahead. Even though 2016 was one of the warmest winters on record, we saw a significant increase in rainfall, and in storm damage – and this year we are already seeing similar trends.
Now is a great time to put in a few hard yards to protect your home and reduce the chances of a storm related headache later on.
Here’s how you can prepare your home for Winter…
Tidy up, Clear out
Begin with tidying up any small objects that can easily be forgotten in a season where you may venture out a little less. If you have children or pets, appoint a designated toy box for all outdoor toys. Make sure it is sealed to avoid dust accumulation and insect infestation. Order a council bin to clear out anything that does not have a home or serve a purpose, donating anything that is still in good condition. If you have collected some “projects” that are waiting to be finished, hold yourself accountable to either make a time to complete the project, or cut your losses and be done with it. This will not only clean up your outdoor living area, but become a great personal shift in your own life. Cleaning up your yard will minimise clutter and ensure that there are no items to be left around posing a risk to your property in damaging winds.
Check for property weak spots
Practically it is essential that your home is secure to withstand the toughest of storms. Have a look at your property from the inside and the outside. Are there any water damage spots on your ceiling? Do you have any cracks in your windows? Do you have any visibly damaged roof tiles? If you are answering “yes” to any of these questions its important to deal with these issues now, before a Winter storm can cause serious damage.
Take a walk in your garden
Have a look at the trees in your yard, and around your property. Consider the chances of any of the branches falling down and the risk this would pose to your property. As in most cases, prevention is better than cure. Be sure to prune any hazardous branches to avoid any unnecessary property damage. Collect any leaves, twigs and sticks that have fallen over Autumn to ensure your space is a blank canvas with no loose items.
Prepare your gutters
Clean gutters are paramount to protecting your house over Winter. If water becomes trapped in one area of your gutters, it may spill over the gutter and pool at the foundation of your home. This can, over time, compromise the overall integrity of the property as well as encouraging mould to grow. It can also contribute to wood damage along the fascia boards to which the gutter is attached, and can harm the garden bed that may lie underneath. Prioritise the clearing of your gutters and whilst doing so, ensure that your gutters are all in good condition and attached firmly.
Check your windows and doors
Did you know that up to 40 per cent of your home’s heating energy in winter can leak out through windows or skylights? Or that draughts caused by gaps and cracks around doors, windows and skylights can add up to 25 per cent to your heating bills?! A very simple solution to this is to check your windows and doors for any gaps. If they can be permanently sealed, then do so and immediately reap the rewards. In many cases a foam or rubber weather seal will work around windows and a strip seal will protect your home from draughts entering under the front door. Both can easily be purchased from your local hardware store. For an added layer of insulation, Roller Shutters are your best bet.
Consider your flooring
Many homes across Perth are older in style and have hardwood floors. Floorboards allow much more airflow than tiles or carpet. While there is no need to do a complete home renovation, perhaps you might consider investing in some rugs to position in the larger open areas of your homes. This will help to reduce the airflow which comes from below the floorboards and will add warmth to the whole area. Your skirting boards, if not attached and sealed correctly can also allow cool air to flow from outside, or beneath your home, so fill any gaps to better protect your house.
Clean your air-conditioners and heaters
Have a think back to the last time you cleaned your filter for your air-conditioner or heater. A dirty and clogged filter means the unit has to work harder to keep your home at a certain temperature, which can rapidly increase the cost to run the unit. It is recommended that filters are cleaned on a monthly basis. This may need to be done more frequently if you have pets, or use your air-conditioner or heater constantly over the season. Split system air-conditioners will have instructions on how to clean and/or replace the filters. If you are unsure, call a professional to do the work for you. If you have an electric heater, it may be worth investing in a gas heater, as it is better for the environment, will save money and will also be less drying to the air. To save energy, use the scheduling options available on most heating units.
Preventative and protective measures
Once you have cleared your yard of any items that might put your home at risk in a windy storm and ensured your property is secure with no obvious weak spots, it’s time to add in the final protective layer. There is no doubt that Roller shutters are the number one way to protect your home against storm damage (in all of its forms). Our roller shutters are designed in such a way that they both insulate and protect your property. This means that when the storms, rains and winds beat down on your property, the noise is reduced, the house is protected and the home remains warm. For home owners, this is one investment which will continue to bring returns for years to come.
Set aside one weekend, invest some time in your home, and save yourself from bigger problems when the Winter weather really sets in.