When spring turns to summer, we so quickly become accustomed to the dry and warm weather.
It’s almost as if it’ll stay this way forever.
Sadly the leaves eventually change colors and fall to the ground – a solemn reminder that the rigors of winter are approaching.
If ever home repairs will need to be done, it’s as winter approaches.
We need to secure the external shells of our homes as we spend more and more time indoors.
It’s going to get dark and cold, and our homes need to be well prepared! Let’s discuss some things right now that are worth repairing at this time.
Our roofs should be checked twice a year, in spring and autumn.
There are a number of things to look at, but ensure that your safety is paramount!
Anyone who is unconfident or unsafe climbing a ladder would be well advised to seek the help of a professional.
According to the guys at Trusted-roofing.com, people regularly search online for details of local roofers, and wish to compare the ratings and reviews.
They seek free quotations for such things as repairs, new roofing installations and attic insulation.
If there is a build up of moss on the roof, this needs to be addressed as it absorbs and retains water.
When water stays in one place over time it can lead to damp issues indoors.
Also check for cracked or buckled shingle, and ensure the area surrounding any chimney is securely in place.
If tiles are out of position or broken and loose, they also need replacing before winter.
Water will be able to get through the gaps into the roof.
This may occur when the rain comes directly downwards, or if it is blown sideways by the wind.
If loose tiles fall off the roof during a storm, they are a potential safety hazard because they could land on someone’s head.
If there are skylight windows it is common for the seals around the edges to perish, and for water to gain access into the home. Check these and take action if there are any issues.
This is the logical next place to check. Make sure there are no leaks. All pipes should be insulated.
If this does not occur they could freeze and burst.
If there is excess damp in the attic, check that there are air vents in place, and that they are not blocked by any fiberglass insulation.
When thinking about damp, check for mold and any areas where paper or paint is blistering.
The Conservatory Roof and Nearby Trees
Check any conservatory roof timbers for signs of rotting. Lead flashing can leak from time to time, and roof seals can degrade.
Make sure these are literally watertight and ready for the forthcoming winter.
If there are trees near the house (particularly the roof) it may be time to cut back some twigs and branches.
This will be particularly relevant if squirrels are able to access the house this way. They can be highly destructive when they get onto rooftops!
It’s also important that the tree will be safe during the stormy winter weather. Any branches that could snap or land on the house could be putting lives at risk.
Gutters, Downspouts and Drain Grates
The guttering system needs to be checked in order to protect the landscaping and facade.
It will also reduce the risk of having issues with insects or rodents. Remove any plants, twigs or sticks from the gutters.
If they become blocked in winter, the water may become backed-up. This could cause issues for the external walls of the house.
The drain grate on the ground level should also be swept and cleaned.
If it blocks up with dirt and leaves, there could be a build up of water in winter that will not be able to drain away.
Get the Chimney Swept
This will be relevant for anyone who:
- Has a chimney
- Uses the fireplace for burning wood in winter
If a chimney is not properly maintained there is a higher risk of carbon monoxide build up, and the possibility of it catching fire.
Always get a certified professional to perform the maintenance, to ensure everything is fully safe.
If there is a gas fireplace being used, the chimney and flue will also need checking. This is to identify any leaky vents or blockages.
Every house should have smoke detectors that are regularly checked.
If they are battery operated, make sure they are replaced immediately. If they are left inoperable, it will be dangerous for everyone.
Review the Heating System
If there are any known issues such as with vents or filters, get these sorted before the weather turns colder and the system is in use 24/7.
If an annual service is provided with the equipment/insurance, this would be a good time. If the heating system uses oil, make sure the tank is full.
If there is a circuit of radiators in the home, check the temperature of each one.
If air gets trapped in one, the radiator will need bleeding using a special key.
Paint and Seal the Exterior
Should a fresh coat of exterior paint be applied to the outside of the house? The same may apply to any walls or garage.
If there are wooden fences they may or may not need painting.
This will depend on whether they have been heat-treated before sale, and how long ago this occurred.
Wooden doors and window frames should also be repaired if necessary.
It’s also important to check the doors and windows from inside the house.
Are the seals in place or is heat leaking outside? Check for signs of condensation on the windows too.
Once the shell of the house is weather resistant and the seals are in full operation, the indoors will be protected.
There may be some indoor rooms that could do with a fresh coat of paint, but this will not be a key job before winter.
Once the home repairs have been done, check the garden. Bring any vulnerable furniture indoors.
It may be cold and dark outside, but it will be cozy and warm inside. If we steward our homes well, they will serve us well in turn.