Winter is coming.
Game of Thrones fans rejoice – this means the HBO show will soon be back on our screens.
But for everyone else, autumn just signals the beginning of grey, chilly days.
To distract yourself from the impending winter blues, we have compiled a to-do list of all the things to tackle around your home before a cold snap strikes.
1. Check your roof
Look out for any cracks, loose or missing shingles, rust – it’s better to spot these early to avoid any serious damage to your home. Call in an expert to give it the once-over and make any necessary repairs.
2. Clean your chimney
Who else just runs their wood-burner or fireplace mercilessly for a few months, forgets about it for the rest of the year, and then fires it up again next winter without a second thought? Well apparently we should be taking more care. Chimneys should be cleaned at least once a year to check for cracks, holes or faults and to remove soot, creosote, birds nests and other blockages. Book yours in for a check-up with a chimney sweep!
3. Check for draughts
Blocking draughts is a cheap and effective way to keep your home warm during winter. Check all doors and windows and install draught excluders or use draught “snakes”. You can make your own by stuffing rugby socks or tights with newspaper or cushion filling.
4. Clean up outside furniture and BBQs
Before you store them away or cover them up, it’s a good idea to give them a clean! I know it’s tempting just to shove a cover over them and think you’ll deal with it next summer, but you’ll thank me when you’re not trying to scrape off year-old grease during that first warm weekend.
5. Clean out and repair gutters
Clean out your gutters to remove, leaves and other gunk that ends up there and make sure they’re not sagging or trapping water. If they look like they’re in need of repair – get it done early before winter hits!
6. Trim trees and remove dead branches
Do you have any trees on your property with branches that look like they’re on their last legs? Get an expert in to remove them ahead of nasty weather so those branches don’t end up doing any damage. Trim back trees or bushes so that nothing is touching the house.
7. Check your smoke alarms
While you’re at it, test and change the batteries in your smoke alarms.