We think it is fair to say that the colder weather is already here and before winter sets in, the autumn is a good time to carry out some important home maintenance tasks so that you can rest easy all the way through to the spring. Whilst it’s great to introduce cosy additions inside your home, looking after the exterior is crucial to avoid costly bills, leaks, draughts, frozen pipes and to ensure your garden sees it through this cold spell.
Autumn is the time when the trees shed their leaves and they tend to build up quickly in the gutters of houses. This leaf litter can quickly become a problem and combined with other gunk and debris, can cause issues for homeowners, such as damp, rot and even pest infestations, if they are not cleared regularly. This can also cause gutters to fill excessively with water that can’t drain away and can lead to issues of damp, mould and condensation. Shop our range of scooping tools to give you a head start in clearing out your gutters.
You will also need to check that water is not coming down behind the gutters and that the gutter support brackets are securely in place. Downpipes should direct water correctly, check that this is the case and that there is no pooling. This can cause damage to driveways, walkways and even foundations.
Keeping an eye on your roof is so important, so make sure you’re stocked up on roofing tools. Not only will your roof keep you dry but also warm. Check for loose, cracked or even missing tiles because they can make your roof very vulnerable to the weather. If this isn’t something you can check on yourself, then it may be worth calling in a professional.
It sounds obvious, but filling gaps around door frames, windows and where pipes may enter your home can really prevent any unnecessary cold air from entering your home. You could use draught strips on window frames or caulk to fill larger gaps in frames to keep your home nice and warm.
It’s always a good idea to have an annual heating service to make sure everything is running as it should be before you crank up that thermostat. A professional can check that your boiler and system is working efficiently which could, in turn, save you money, by recognising any minor issues before they become major ones. It will also help to eliminate the risk of carbon monoxide and gas leaks, which could be detrimental to your health.
Turn off your outdoor taps and disconnect and drain any attached hoses. Water left in the pipes could potentially freeze and when it freezes, it expands and could cause water to back up into your mains plumbing leading to cracked or burst pipes. It’s probably a good idea to do this quite early on to save getting caught out by an unexpected cold spell. If you need to upgrade your hose pipes or adapters, shop the range here before winter arrives!
Later in the autumn, after the summer growth has finished, is a great time to cut back those plants, trees and bushes. It’s a good idea to keep branches at least 3 feet away from the exterior of your house so that moisture cannot drip onto your walls or roof. It also helps to prevent any damage that could be caused by high winds, heavy snow or ice.
Whilst grass may seem to stop growing in the autumn, the roots continue to grow below ground in preparation for winter. Now is the perfect time to fertilise and reseed your lawn if required. Your lawn will also require water during the autumn months, so if it’s been dry you may still need to give it a good soaking every now and then to ensure its optimum strength for the winter.
So, whilst you complete any last-minute building tasks this autumn it may be worth working through this checklist to prepare your home for the winter. Whether you love or hate these types of jobs, they are essential and could save you both time and money by preventing much larger, more difficult to deal with problems.