We live in a unique and beautiful country: Not only are we culturally diverse, but the seasons differ depending on what region you live in. However, one thing is certain: no matter your region, we all need to prepare our homes for adverse weather conditions that come with Winter.
The one place that feels the brunt of the winter weather is your garden. After a long summer, there are a few things you can do to get winter-ready:
If you’re down south, and can expect some winter storms, start by pruning your trees and bushes. Keep an eye on growth, especially around power and telephone lines. Cut back any growth that’s encroached more than a meter or so from any lines, or your roof. The last thing you need is a branch coming down on your roof on a stormy night!
Any garden furniture or pot plants that you feel might not survive a dry, frosty winter, or even wet and stormy one, should either be covered or stored somewhere safe. Bring those special plants that simply can’t survive the cold inside – not only will you be giving them a fighting chance this winter, but add a little extra life to your home.
After a long, hot summer your pool needs a little love as well. Get the pump fully serviced and have the PH levels checked. Winter is a tricky time for pool maintenance, especially with debris ending up in the pool. Try keep the pool covered to ensure you don’t end up with an ecological experiment by Spring time!
Once your garden is ready to face the cold, it’s time to make sure you are. Your home needs to perform at its best during the coldest months of the year, especially when the first frost or storm hits.
Let’s start with the outside first:
While your trees got a trimming, they were probably also doing their best to drown you in Autumn leaves. Not only are they a pain to rake up off the ground, but they love to find a home in your gutters. Give your gutters a thorough cleaning before the first winter weather hits to ensure you don’t get any major blockages. Also, do a quick check of all your downpipes, just to make sure they are firmly fixed to the wall.
Your windows and doors have helped keep the house cool all winter, but now they need to keep the heat in. Check all your windows and doors for any damage that could let a draft in. Caulk any areas that show signs of wear, and check the putty on your windows. After a long, hot summer, you might need to replace some of the putty that has dried and cracked.
Give your roof tiles a thorough check for any damage or debris while you’re cleaning out the gutters. At the first sign of anything out of place, get a professional in to assess.
Once the outside is in order, your last port of call is the inside:
With the outside of the roof checked, take a quick trip into your attic area. Shine a torch up at the underside of the tiles, looking for any signs of damage or water entry. While you’re up there, make sure you have adequate insulation installed – as hot air rises, a large portion of your heat can be lost if your insulation is lacking.
Damp is winter’s best friend, and your home’s worst nightmare. During winter condensation on your windows can become a problem, so check these areas on a regular basis during winter. Consider investing in a humidifier for any rooms that look to be struggling.
A trick that not many of us realise is that our ceiling fans have a “reverse setting”. This causes the blades to rotate in the opposite direction, helping keep hot air from escaping. Just don’t forget to switch it back in Summer time.
Hopefully these tips will help you get your home ready for the coming winter. Good luck and enjoy the hot chocolate.