THE FIRST FROST – ARE YOU PREPARED?
Winter is coming up fast, and the weather is very quickly cooling down. Is your home ready for the first frost of winter?
There are several things that you need to consider and keep in mind before the first frost of the season arrives. Below, the experts at MyJobQuote.co.uk go over everything you need to know about preparing your home for the first frost of the season. Take a look at the list of advice below.
Insulate The Roof
Did you know that you lose up to a quarter of your home’s heat through the roof? Getting loft insulation will help you to keep more heat in your home and will also help to keep your energy bills down.
Even if your roof is already insulated, it would be worth checking if your current insulation meets the recommended 250mm to 270mm depth before the harsh winter weather arrives.
If our insulation is fitted properly, it can last for up to 40 years. Since it usually costs around £285 – £425 to install loft insulation, you can expect it to pay for itself many times over its lifespan. Plus, you’ll also save a lot on your energy bills.
Lag Your Pipes
A burst water pipe on your property is your own responsibility, and winter is the time when you’re most at risk of this. Uninsulated pipes in colder parts of the home, such as the loft or basement, are the most likely pipes to burst.
Insulating tubes are relatively cheap, and you can purchase these from most DIY shops. It’s important to wrap your pipes before winter comes. This will prevent the pipes from freezing and will also prevent heat loss. Make a particular effort to insulate the pipes that take hot water from your cylinder or boiler and transport the water to your hot water taps.
These pipes are usually located next to your boiler, in your airing cupboard, and under your bathroom and kitchen sinks.
Clean Your Gutters
Your gutters have a job to do, and that’s getting rainwater away from your roof and down the drain. If your gutters are blocked with dirt, leaves, or other debris, they won’t be able to work effectively.
You will be able to identify issues with your gutters if rainwater starts running down the side of your house or if you notice some discolouration on your property walls. Most of the time, blockages are caused by leaves, twigs, moss, or bird’s nests. Water build-up can lead to dampness and mould. With this in mind, it’s important to ensure your guttering is working properly so rainwater can be effectively drained away from your home.
Keeping on top of gutter maintenance is also important for insurance purposes, so there are many reasons why you should clear your gutters before the weather gets too cold.
Get a Smart Meter
A smart meter is a great idea before the cold winter weather hits. A smart meter prevents you from having to input meter readings. Plus, it also allows you to keep a good eye on the amount of energy you’re using and where you’re using energy the most in real time. This will allow you to identify which appliances are using up the most energy in your home so that you can alter your usage accordingly and save some money.
Smart meters don’t cost anything to install, and all energy suppliers will be required to offer a free smart meter by the year 2025. If you haven’t been offered a smart meter just yet, get in touch with your energy provider to request one.
Bleed Your Radiators
Bleeding your radiators regularly will help to ensure your home stays warm and your heating system works efficiently. Air can get into your heating system and prevent your radiators from being able to fill with water properly.
If you find that your radiators are cooler at the top, this is a sign that they need to be bled. Bleeding your radiators will help release all of the trapped air.
Bleeding your radiators is quite a simple job that you can complete very quickly. Locate the bleed valve on your radiator and use a bleed key to turn it anticlockwise. This will start the process of releasing air from the radiator. When all of the air has been released, water will start to drip out. At this point, you can then close the valve.
Let Your Faucets Drip
If the weather is predicted to be extra cold on any given night, turn on any faucets that are along an exterior wall and allow them to drip.
Allowing your faucets to drip will eliminate the pressure from building between your tap and any potential ice blockages. This means that, even if the pipe does freeze, it will be much less likely to burst.
Disconnect Outdoor Hoses
You mustn’t forget to also winterise your outdoor pipes and faucets. Firstly, you will need to make sure you disconnect your hose from the outdoor tap and drain any existing water out of the hose.
If possible, it is also a very good idea to turn off the water supply to your outdoor tap and open it up to drain any of the remaining water out of the pipes.
Fix Exterior Cracks
Before winter comes into full force, you should take some time to inspect your home’s exterior and look for any holes or cracks. If you notice any imperfections, these should be dealt with before the first frost comes along.
Fill any imperfections with caulking and spray foam insulation to help prevent the cold air from getting into your home or to the pipes in the walls.
Keep Your Heating On
It’s a bad idea to turn your heating off at any point during the winter months. Even if you’re planning on being away from home for a while, you should still keep your heating on.
The money saved on your electricity bill by turning your heating off won’t exactly cover the cost of a burst pipe, so it’s much better to be wary. It doesn’t need to be extremely hot. Just keep your heating on a constant low temperature and then turn it up as and when you need to.
Repair Any Leaks
With winter approaching, it’s a smart idea to take a look around your property and inspect all of your pipes and faucets for any leaks.
If you do find any leaks, you should patch these up and repair them as soon as possible. If the pipe in question services your water or heating, you should contact a professional to repair the leak for you. This will help to prevent any problems with your heating system or pipework over the winter months.
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