The children have gone back to school and there is more of a chill in the air. It won’t be long before the supermarkets are stocking their shelves with Christmas goodies. With Autumn fast approaching, what can you do now to get your home ready for the colder weather?
Clean out guttering
A build-up of dry leaves and other debris in your gutters can stop rain water properly draining away. Any excess rain water will then pour out of the sides of the gutter, down exterior walls and into the foundations. Additionally, a blocked gutter can cause it to rust and any water then left trapped in the gutter can freeze in colder weather. In turn, this can weigh down the gutter and cause damage to both it and the roof.
Make sure you also check for any leaks. You can pour water into the gutters to check for leaks and to see if it is draining away properly. This will also remove any additional dirt.
Get your boiler serviced
If you haven’t already, book an annual service for your boiler to check that it is still working efficiently and that there are no problems that are sure to cause issues once the cold weather hits. More importantly, boilers that aren’t properly installed, maintained or ventilated can produce carbon monoxide. Unfortunately, this silent killer can’t be seen or smelt, so it is important to get your boiler checked at least once a year. It might also be a good time to check the batteries in your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
Did you also know that if you are a landlord, it is a legal requirement to ensure that your property has a current Gas Safety Certificate? Only Gas Safe Register approved engineers are qualified to perform this gas safety check and issue a CP12 Inspection Certificate to prove it.
Loft insulation and double glazing are great strategies to keep your house warm and energy bills down during the colder months. There are also some cheap and easy steps you can take as the nights draw in. Thick curtains, for example, can cut draughts through windows and doors. However, experts suggest leaving them open during daylight hours to allow in as much natural and free heat (in the form of sunlight) as possible, closing them as soon as dusk falls.
If you’re not using your fireplace then you should consider a chimney balloon as a great deal of heat can be lost through an open, draughty fireplace. These devices, made from a special laminate, can be bought relatively cheaply and work by being placed inside the chimney hole. The inflated balloon then shuts out any incoming cold air or escaping heat. Just be sure not to start a fire without removing it and do get your chimney swept and wood stoves checked before you fire them up.
Other simple, low-cost tactics include closing up unused rooms, moving furniture away from radiators and covering any bare floorboards.
The Autumn months mean less daylight. Luckily, you can still use your outdoor lights without wasting money and energy. Because outdoor lights are typically left on for long periods of time, make sure to use energy saving products and bulbs to light your outdoor pathways and porches. You can also consider using flood lights that work on a motion detection system to deter any potential intruders or burglaries.
Get the roof checked
The summer rain we experienced is enough to have penetrated broken, cracked or missing roof tiles and the evidence will be brown stains showing on your walls and ceilings upstairs. If you have a loft space, go up there and have a look, too. If there are signs of leaks that don’t seem to be drying out, get them checked out by a professional roofer.
A few hours spent checking over your property over now can help prevent problems and avoid greater expense and discomfort later on. If, however, something does go wrong, A-Plan Insurance is here to help. You can call your branch, phone our out of hours claims line or request a callback via our website and we will deal with your home insurance claim as quickly as possible and with a minimum of fuss.