Winter is one of those seasons that you have to get through. It brings snowy weather, festive scenes and a new year where you can make resolutions and goals. Some people love it. Others don’t like it, because the weather can be a real issue. Not to mention the winter blues, seasonal affective disorder or just the feeling of a bad mood due to the highs of Christmas and then the lows of January, aka the after-holiday mental hangover. It can happen to any of us. However, if you can prepare yourself, your home and your life for winter, hopefully, that will make things much more manageable throughout the holiday season and well into the new year.
With that in mind, here are some suggestions for what you can do.
Image by Nick Collins
Gutters causing leaks
One of the first things you could encounter when winter weather hits are issues with your gutters. During the fall, you’ll inevitably notice that all the leaves will have dropped from your trees. There is a lot of debris, and you may have cleared it all in your garden or lawn, leaving it looking tidy and ready for spring the following year. But did you clear it out from the gutters? If you don’t, then this can cause massive blockages. When the rain starts to fall, it has nowhere to drain off, which can cause leaks due to the weight on your gutters. It can also cause blockages in your drains, which can lead to floods in your garden and affect your foundation or cause flooding if there are pre-existing issues. Cleaning the gutters and drain areas before the bad weather sets in will have them working the way they should and hopefully in good condition come spring.
The freezing temperatures that we may face in the winter can be pretty hard to handle at the best of times. But the issue your home has with it comes down to your pipes. If those pipes freeze over, you can instantly lose access to running water, which means no water to drink, no showering, and no laundry. We literally can’t live without it. However, not only is that an issue, but you also face the possibility that those pipes will burst and crack once the temperature rises. The ice may have expanded them in a way that can’t be fixed. But, before the bad weather turns, if you add a layer of insulation to those pies, such as a foam casing, then that could keep the water temperature just one or two degrees warmer than the outside temperature, causing the possibility of freezing to decline.
Tip: when the temperature drops, it can help leave the tap dripping through the night. The continuous slow flow of water stops a complete freeze from happening, and in the morning to can run hot water through to unfreeze any problem areas.
We may have already discussed the weather in terms of rain and freezing temperatures, but there are also storms that you may be faced with. High winds, hurricanes and rainstorms can hit your towns when you least expect it, and this can cause damage to your home in many ways. Damage can be caused to windows if something has blown into them, like a tree branch or swinging wire from a pole outside. Damaged windows can be daunting, but glass repairs can be easily rectified. Other damage can be caused to the brickwork, your roof, and even your car and outbuildings. Many storms we face are predicted, so it is always worth keeping an eye on weather reports so that you can do due diligence to ensure that things are as safe as they can be should the storm hit with severity.
That means taking the time seasonally to ensure everything is up to code and in its best condition to withstand any harsh or extreme weather.
Preparing your car for winter
One thing that you can consider would be to look at preparing your car for the winter months. It might be putting on winter tires with better tread for the lousy weather. Or even looking at ensuring you start the car more often. It may be that winter highlights the need to change your car, so looking for deals and options could help. Maybe you could look at scrapping your car for cash to get some extra money to put toward a new vehicle. The better condition your vehicle is in, the more it will get you through the winter months and keep you safe on the road.
Getting the finances in order
It may sound strange to think about your finances more so at different times of the year, but winter means you need to be more aware of your spending. Not just at Christmas time for the extra expenditure but also the increase in possible energy costs, winter gear, snow removal, and so on. Saving, setting a budget and being extra cautious with your money will mean that you won’t be worried too much when unexpected bills land on your doorstep.
Heating and water issues
Nothing is worse than getting home on a cold day or waking up and walking downstairs to find that your heating system is not working as it should be. It can be a huge disaster. It always happens on the coldest day of the year, right? However, while you can never predict if this is going to happen, you can do things to help prevent it from happening. Getting your heating and water system checked regularly and having your boiler serviced can help ensure that you keep things working and in good order. Plus, if a part looks like it is on its way out. Then getting it replaced or at least being aware of it can help you fix the issues quicker. Servicing your boiler regularly ensures efficiency, and if you find your home is struggling to get warm, it may be time to replace the boiler, get a new heating system or maybe even get your ducts cleaned, depending on the type of heat and system you rely on.
Rain and rain go away, but alas, during the winter, the snow, freezing rain and rain can hit your home hard, which can cause extra pressure on your roof, especially if there has been severe weather in terms of wind previously. Roof shingles and tiles can move, break, or erode, and so with that will cause leaks in your home. The issue with your roof is that you may not even know there is a problem until the interior of your home starts to suffer. Many people have attic and loft spaces that a roof would leak into at first. If there is a storm, check your roof, or at the very least, have someone look at it afterwards to ensure there aren’t any tiny issues that could become something massive.
Let’s hope these suggestions help you prepare your home and life for winter.