Everybody knows that winters in Great Britain are not exactly famed for their good weather, your house certainly knows this and has to withstand everything that mother nature throws at it, and let’s be frank, mother nature can be a right bitch when she wants to be.
So, and without repeating what I’ve already written about previously, it’s fairly obvious that we need our homes to protect us from this nasty woman (I’m still talking about mother nature by the way, not the mother in law), so what can we do?
Does our house already protect us, to a point?
Well, yes and no.
Our roof, for example, if kept in good condition, should at least protect us from the rain coming into the house, but it is something that many home owners take for granted and forget it is there, until a leak occurs.
Who is Mother Nature?
Mother nature, also known as mother earth, or earth mother, is the term that refers to a human form of the earth itself, in terms of notions of life giving, birth and of nature. Many ancient tales of goddesses from thousands of years ago also depicted our planet and nature itself as a human personification.
The term is often used today in popular culture, but today we look at her as a nasty person, in a way, or at least a strict old woman who one hand gives the planet life, growth and abundance, and then takes it away with violent storms, hurricanes, rain and a general reference to bad weather.
Let’s face it, you wouldn’t want to meet this woman down the shops.
Here are five great tips to winterize your home and help keep that nasty woman away this year.
Five tips to keep mother nature away
TIP ONE: Check your roof
Your roof, as above, should give you many years of trouble free protection but it’s certainly worth getting it properly inspected by a qualified roofer every 5 years or so, just to make sure.
If you are planning on moving house in the near future, the last thing you need is for the buyers surveyor to find a potential costly problem on your roof that needs fixing. This also applies to the chimney too.
A roof replacement can run into tens of thousands of pounds, but sometimes a special roof coating can be applied which will lengthen it’s life, although roof coatings will not fix structural issues so be wary of leaflets through your door from companies saying a roof coating will fix a dilapidated roof as its untrue.
TIP TWO: Avoid leaks
Avoid potential leaks from elsewhere by keeping all gutters and pipes clean and free of debris, especially if there are trees near your home.
Make sure all external pipes are in good condition and are lagged, which means that if your pipes have insulation around them, the water inside won’t freeze, because water expands when frozen and that will crack your pipes, causing a flood, which can have catastrophic consequences.
TIP THREE: Pay attention to your exterior walls
Make sure the walls of your house are in good order and free from cracks or loose patches of pebbledash or rendering. When that awful woman (mother nature) brings the wet and cold weather, if your walls absorb the water, driven further in by wind, this will cause damp, mould and cracks, again, very expensive to fix, so a preventative measure is best.
This could be an external thermal render, such as what the green deal suppliers are offering, or at best, a repair programme and one of the cheaper wall protection systems like a spray applied wall coating.
TIP FOUR: Insulate!
Keep out nasty draughts and cold by making sure the loft is insulated and there are several government schemes that can provide this for free, or at least, heavily subsidised.
This can also apply to cavity wall insulation, which will greatly reduce heating bills, paying for itself in no time at all. Buy draught excluder tape for doorways and fit draught excluder under doors and maybe even around the letterbox too. These are really cheap things to do and make a dramatic difference in keeping your house nice and warm.
TIP FIVE: Heating, flues and chimneys need to be checked
Finally, and again something people take for granted until it breaks down, make sure your heating and all appliances are working well and the chimney, if you have one, is free of debris and has been cleaned by a chimney sweep.
This is especially important as when we are in winter time and snuggling up in our warm home, we are not letting fresh air, as it’s COLD of course!
This means that if there is a blockage somewhere, or a small gas leak, carbon monoxide, a deadly gas, can build up in your home, causing death. This is especially important if you are using one of those calor gas portable heaters, so make sure you at least let a tiny bit of fresh air in when you can, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
Wrap up warm, and until the next blog post, have a great winter!
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