The cold is setting in around many parts of the country. Winter is knocking at the door and for many of us that means we’re getting ready for our rainy season. We understand that for some areas in South Africa, winter doesn’t necessarily mean rain. But the tips below on how to prepare your house for winter can benefit all homeowners ahead of any wet and rainy weather.
“Preparing your house for winter not only ensures that you and your family stay warm and cosy, but it also ensures that your house is kept in good condition,” says Carha Anderson from Durbanville. “It protects your house from damage caused by cold and wet weather and ensures that nothing big goes wrong down the line.”
Below are some of Anderson’s tips on how to best prepare your home for this coming winter.
Ensure that your gutters are clean
“With trees shedding their leaves in autumn, there tends to be a lot of build-up in gutters over this period,” says Anderson. “Clearing this out will help protect your home from damp as water from the rain will be redirected down clear gutters instead of landing on your house.”
The last thing you want in your home is damp and mould. Fixing this in the warmer months could cost a fortune. To save yourself that money in the long run, get your gutters cleaned now before the wet weather kicks in.
Check all of your windows
“Sometimes there might be a small crack or a faulty window fitting that you don’t know about,” Anderson notes. “Go around your house and check on all your window panes and frames to ensure that they are in good condition.”
Another thing to do on your windows is to sand down and then reseal any worn or weathered wooden window frames and trim. These pieces wear down over time and water could easily seep into it, causing the wood to weaken and rot. Now is a good time to check it all as it will be tougher to do this when it’s colder outside.
Prepare the fireplace
“If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace in your home, now is the time to get it ready for when you will need it the most - during these colder months,” Anderson explains.
Clean out the catchment tray and check that your chimney doesn’t have any blockages. Also, clear any clutter that may have piled up around or on your fireplace. During the warmer months we tend not to realise or mind that we put the TV remote on top of the fireplace. Ensure that everything is clear all around.
Get in any last-minute painting
Anderson notes: “You won’t be able to get much painting done when it’s cold outside. Not only do you risk it raining on your wet paint, but the paint will take ages to dry. Rather get this done now quickly before winter.”
This applies to inside and outside. If you are painting inside and it’s a cold day, the paint will take longer to dry. So, if you can, try to get it done now while the weather is still somewhat sunny and warm.
Wrap your geyser in a blanket
“A lot more energy and warm water is used during the winter months,” Anderson explains. “A great investment for winter and beyond is a geyser blanket”.
A geyser blanket insulates a geyser and retains the heat without the use of electricity to constantly heat up the geyser. It is believed that a geyser blanket can save homeowners between 10% and 20% on their electricity usage. Isn’t that reason enough to get one?
Check for any roof leaks
“Going through a storm with a leaky roof is not a fun experience for anyone. So, before these wetter months come along, check your roof for any holes and leaks,” advises Anderson.
A leaky roof not only damages the roof and ceiling, but also anything that’s under the leak. Get these checked and sorted out before you have to cough up loads more money on repairs due to a leaking roof.
Trim your trees
“If you have large trees on your property, now is the time to cut them back,” Anderson notes. “This is especially true if your trees tower over your home or other property items such as vehicles”.
Trees and branches can easily break in temperamental weather. The last thing you want is for one to break into your roof or onto your car. You can hire a service to fell and cut the trees on your property.
Winter is on its way and it’s best to be prepared for its arrival. Follow these easy steps and tips and you are bound to have a hassle-free winter period.