This time of the year can bring a lot of cold weather, but is your home fully prepared to embrace the conditions. With a little bit of preparation you can lower your energy bills and avoid some maintenance bills. Your home can be at risk from the outside elements and also the moist conditions that occur inside at this time of the year. Here we look at the different ways you can prepare for the winter, and make sure it’s winter-proof.

The roof should be inspected for an missing or damaged tiles, and if you have a chimney you should make sure that chimney pots are protected. You can also add chimney balloons, and make sure your wood and coal flues are swept out.

In your loft you should ensure that the insulation is in a good condition. Make sure that your tanks and pipes are insulted well to avoid freezing, and make sure the lid is on the cold water tank.

Outside you will need to make sure that the gutters and drains are clear of leaves and items that may cause blockages. The gulley will need to be clear to avoid problems in heavy rainfall. Any external drain pipes that you may have for your central heating will need to be insulated.

The external walls of your home should have full insulation to avoid heat loss and reduce your energy bills. You can also place reflective foil behind your radiators on the external walls to ensure your heat is staying in the house. Outside you should check the pointing around the brickwork and keep it well maintained.

Any outside paving or decking should not allow water to pool as this will freeze over in cold conditions, and make sure that they are not covering any drainage gulleys or air bricks.

Double glazing helps to reduce heat loss, but if this is not possible then you can use cheaper options such as secondary glazing. It’s best to use thermal curtains during the winter months, and you can hang these across external doorways too. To stop any draughts coming through your letterbox you can add a cover.

If you have wooden or hard flooring you may want to add a few rugs to make it feel a little cosier, and warmer under foot.

Make sure your boiler is serviced to avoid any problems mid-winter. Your hot water tank should also be insulated, and all radiators bled.

It’s also important to ensure that you home is well aired out on the drier days as the home will build up a lot of moisture from showers, cooking and kettles. This moisture can build up on the windows as visible moisture, or may make your home look and smell damp. Open your windows for ventilation as often as you can without compromising security or warmth.

Most of these jobs you will be able to do yourself, but you may need advise on larger jobs. For help from a local building surveyor Contact Us at RH Benwell and Associates.