10 jobs to protect your home this winter

DIY jobs to ensure your property is protected to avoid costly repairs

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With darker nights, colder temperatures and wet weather, the winter months can cause damage to your home if not properly maintained. Ensure you tackle these DIY jobs early in the season to ensure your property is protected and to avoid costly repairs.

Steve Hodgson, chief executive of the Property Care Association, explains ‘These small steps can prevent bigger problems emerging in the future.’

1. Check your chimney

Poor brickwork on chimneys can be dangerous in high winds, so ensure no damage has occurred, while poor flashing on chimney breasts inside can let rain water stream into a home, so ensure any cracks or breaks are repaired.

2. Fix leaking roofs

The wind and rain can take their toll on a roof, so lead work and roof tiling needs to be in a good condition to protect you from the elements. If any part is loose or worn, water can get in so it’s best to fix it as soon as you spot the damage.

3. Inspect gutters and downpipes

Falling leaves in Autumn can gather in gutters and cause blockages so make sure your gutters are cleared regularly through the colder months so water can be drained quickly and easily. Also, repair any faulty joints to prevent leakages.

4. Check exterior walls

Inspect pointing and render often as cracks or damage can cause water ingress from driving rain.

5. Seal windows and doors

Prevent rain from penetrating through windows and exterior doors by ensuring the weather sealing between frames and masonry are in tact. Top up the seal if wear has occurred over the summer months.

6. Don’t forget the garden

Large bushes, shrubs and vegetation will grow well in summer and slow down growth though winter. Make sure any rot from falling leaves is cleared up and prevent overgrowth by cutting branches back. If large plants grow near the house, check that branches aren’t growing into render of weak pointing throughout the winter season.

7. Service air vents

Waste can build up in air extraction systems, causing bacteria to over grow and efficiency to be reduced. Protect your home from condensation build up by ensuring your systems are cleaned and maintained.

8. Keep drains clear

Falling leaves and debris blown around by strong winds can block outdoor drainage points, preventing water from draining away. Blocked points can also cause bad smells when leaves rot and stagnant water is left, so it’s best to keep a close eye on this.

9. Ensure entranceways are safe

Wet weather plus fallen leaves can create a dangerous slippy surface to walk on and for cars to drive on, so clear away any you see regularly.

10. Remember your water butt

With plenty of rainfall during Autumn and Winter, ensure your water butt doesn’t overflow and saturate surrounding ground further or become blocked up with debris. Either set up an overflow drainage system or store the butt away until spring.

Image by Paul Inkles