5 tips for how to winter proof your home
Last Updated May 12, 2021 · Written by Rob Schneider · 7 min read
Your home should be a sanctuary against winter weather. Many homes provide a dry environment against the wet season, but that may not be enough. You need to take a closer look at your home and winter proof it. If you don't, you may face an expensive repair bill or higher heating costs. Your home may even become a health hazard in winter. Here's 5 tips for how to winter proof your home.
1. Insulation and Draught Control
Check your insulation. Ceiling and floor insulation are especially important. If your house is elevated, cold air will come up through the floor. If your ceiling isn't insulated, hot air will escape through your ceiling. While insulation costs money, it is quickly repaid through lower heating costs and your home will be more comfortable in winter.
Even a well-insulated home can have draughts that allow cold air to enter the home and warm air escape. Draughts typically occur around windows and doors. You can detect draughts by the cold air that comes into your home:
If cold air is coming in from your windows, a window repair service can seal your windows for you.
Cold air frequently enters the home through doors. A draught snake can prevent cold air from coming in through the bottom of your door. A more efficient way to seal doors is to install rubber weather-sealing strips around your doors.
Single pane windows are poor insulators. Thick curtains and honeycomb blinds can help prevent cold air from entering your home through your windows. While honeycomb blinds are more expensive than ordinary blinds, the extra cost will make your home more cosy in winter and save on heating costs.
Consider installing double glazed windows. While double glazed windows can be expensive, you can also retrofit double glazed windows onto existing windows.
2. Your Roof: Repair, Restore or Replace?
In a heavy downpour, you might find your roof leaks. In average conditions, your roof may be fine. When a heavy rain comes (or rain combined with high winds), rain may find its way through your roof and into your ceiling cavity. It can be difficult to detect where the rain enters because it might enter in one area, but move to another area before it drips into your ceiling cavity. Roof repair specialists know what to look for. If you take a DIY approach, you may think you've fixed the problem, but discover you missed the real source of the problem.
Over time, roofs can wear out. If you have extensive leaks, it may be time to have your roof restored or replaced. While it is an expensive option, not doing it can be more expensive. Water may cause an electrical fire or you may need to replace rotting timber in your roof.
If you live in an area where snow falls, your roof needs to be able to bear the weight of the snow. That shouldn't be a problem because most local builders take care to reinforce roofs in snowy areas. If it looks like your roof is sagging, contact a local builder and have them correct the problem.
3. Check Your Guttering
Guttering and downpipes need to work correctly to protect your home in winter. If you haven't done so already, clean your guttering. If you have a single storey home on a flat surface, this can be a DIY job. If you have a two-storey home or your home is on an uneven surface, think about getting a professional gutter repair service clean your guttering. This might be a better option for any type roof because they can look for areas that need repairing while they clean your gutters.
If cleaning your guttering doesn't work in a heavy downpour, it may be because you have the wrong type of guttering for your environment. Guttering is more than its profile. Some guttering is designed for areas where heavy rains occur. It can be just as attractive as smaller profiles, but able to withstand the heaviest downpour. If you have the wrong type of guttering, it's probably better to replace it than live with the guttering you have. It can save you money in the long run.
4. Mould in Winter
If you live in a very humid climate, mould can be a problem throughout the year. If you live in a more temperate climate, you may have a problem with mould during the winter months. That's because mould loves a wet environment. While it doesn't like a cold environment, your house will be heated. The combination of moisture and warmth is a perfect breeding ground for mould.
How can you prevent mould from occurring? You need to think about mould you see and mould you don't see.
The mould you see may appear in patches. If it does, it probably means water is finding its way into your home. You can remove the mould using a mixture of vinegar and water, but if you don't fix the source of the leak, mould will reappear.
If mould is more extensive, it may be because your house is too humid. A dehumidifier will help solve the problem, but you need to get rid of the mould first. In this case, you may need to hire a house cleaning service that knows how to remove mould from all your walls. and ceilings.
Mould doesn't have to be visible to be a health hazard. If you feel headachy or have a stuffy nose, it may be because you have mould in your carpets. Taking a DIY approach to carpet cleaning can be a mistake. While you might kill some of the mould, steam cleaning a carpet leaves the carpet damp and mould can grow again. Carpet cleaning services use special techniques to remove mould from carpets. When you get quotes from carpet cleaning services, tell them your priority is to get rid of the mould that is lurking in your carpets.
5. In the Garden
You need to think about your garden during winter, too. Are there areas in your garden that get wetter than other areas? Take note of them and take steps to give them better drainage.
Do you see areas where moss or algae is forming? Moss and algae become slippery on pavers. They can appear on the lawn, too and damage your lawn.
An easy way to get rid of moss and algae on pavers or your roof is to use a pressure cleaner. If moss and algae are on your lawn, gypsum is a good way to get rid of it. Another way to get rid of lawn moss and algae is to apply iron sulphate. Moss and algae hate iron, but it is good for your lawn. You can find good commercial products at your local hardware supplier or nursery.
Finally, take a look at the trees in your garden. Look for dead branches and have them removed by a tree lopping service. Also look for branches that hang over your house. In high winds and heavy rains, a branch can fall and damage your roof. At the very least, leaves will fall and clog your guttering. It's better not to have branches hanging over your roof. Bigger trees should be well away from the house.
Your home may not have all these potential problems, but it's better to be safe than sorry. Give your home a close inspection and take the necessary steps to winter proof your home.