How To ‘Winter Proof’ Your Home

Summer is upon us, but now’s not the time to rest on your laurels. Take some time out, between BBQ’s and summer holidays, to ‘winter-proof’ your home. The warmer, lighter months are the perfect time to make sure that all of those little exterior jobs are sorted. You can tick things off of your list during the long summer evenings while the going’s good.

Making sure that your home is in peak condition will prevent problems being exasperated by harsh winter conditions, and potentially becoming much worse. You should also make sure that your boiler and heating system is in good working order, to prevent problems in the dead of winter when the ill effects of a heating or hot water failure would be felt much more keenly.

Another good idea is to ensure that your home is as energy efficient as possible, to help to conserve energy and heat in winter, and lower those bills. If you want to make hay while the sun shines but don’t know where to start, work your way through this checklist and the result will be a home that’s as winter proof as possible:

Check the Boiler

Summer is a great time for a boiler service, as you won’t mind it being out of use for a short while. British Gas offers boiler servicing, which includes a gas pressure check, a flue test, a boiler and controls inspection and information about boiler safety.

Regular inspection and maintenance of gas appliances is essential due to the risk of potentially fatal carbon monoxide poisoning.

One sensible option is to ensure your boiler and heating system, which can be done for a reasonable monthly cost. British Gas has a choice of different boiler insurance plans ranging in price from £6.50 to £18.50 per month.

Boiler insurance means that there’s no need to worry if you suffer a boiler breakdown in the middle of winter. All British Gas plans cover call out, parts and labour, meaning that there are no hidden costs and that your boiler will be back up and running as quickly as possible.

Clear the Pipes

Check the radiators and bleed where necessary, clear the drains and the guttering to prevent blockages. One simple and chemical free method to ensure that drains are clear is to use a homemade baking soda and boiling water solution. Pour one cup of baking soda into the pipe, followed by three cups of boiling water. You can follow that with a cup of vinegar to create a fizzing action that can dislodge any existing blockages.

For extra piece of mind why look at a home care insurance plan that covers all of the potential problem hot spots in your home? The most comprehensive plan from British Gas covers the boiler and controls, the central heating system, plumbing and drains and home electrics, as well as including an annual boiler service so that you can rest assured that any problems can be immediately rectified.

Refresh Any Exterior Paintwork

The harsh wind and rain of winter can damage exterior paintwork, so make sure that it’s in optimum condition while the sun is still shining. Sand down paintwork and give it another coat of hardwearing exterior paint to aid protection. Don’t wait for paintwork to start flaking before you act – prevention is always better than cure and the last thing that you want is for rot to set in on your window frames, doors and any other exterior woodwork.

Check the Roof Tiles

The high winds of a British winter mean that roofs can really take a battering, and 2012 saw roads having to be closed due to falling roof tiles. Not only can losing tiles off of your roof cause damage to your home and let water in, but falling roof tiles are also exceptionally dangerous.

Don’t risk a potentially fatal accident. Get your roof tiles checked (unless you’re especially confident up a ladder then it’s best to get a professional in) and make sure that they are all secure ready for going into winter.

Insulate and Conserve

It can be difficult to heat the house during winter, so make sure that it’s as insulated as possible this year. If you haven’t yet had the roof and walls insulated you may be able to get a grant from your energy company to do this.

Fit draft excluders at doors, and switch light bulbs for energy saving ones, and you’re sure to see a difference to your winter gas and electricity bills.

Enjoy the sunshine this summer, but take some time out to make sure that your home is as ‘winter-proof’ as it can be. Preventative steps taken now can save money, time, hassle, inconvenience, and also save potentially dangerous situations from occurring, so make hay while the sun shines and don’t put your home maintenance off until it’s too late.