Autumn is a great time to get stuck in with preparations to get your home in the best shape and be a healthy place to be during the challenging winter months.
Mould & mildew control
Prevention is easier than treatment. Check around your house for spots that are prone to leaks, condensation or lack of airflow. This can result in built up moisture and later mould. Something as simple as cracking open windows to let air in can help. To really eliminate the problem consider investing in double glazed windows, central heating and/or proper insulation to keep mould and mildew under control.
If you find A4 sized mould in your home, contact a specialist and have it tested, as this is the general size guide for when it can negatively affect your health.
Cleaning out your gutters will help to prevent water damage to your roof and potentially other parts of your house. Get the brackets that secure the gutters and spouts checked when you have them cleaned. They can come become unclipped due the course of their life and can come down in a storm, right when you need them.
Planning on using your fireplace? Debris build up is a fire hazard that is easy to avoid. Get a chimney cleaner to clean your chimney and check for cracks.
Check heating system
Ensure your heating system is well prepped for winter. Get a heating specialist to change the air filters, clear PVC vent pipes of any obstructions, and clean the boiler and gas systems.
Check batteries in smoke/carbon monoxide detectors
Be safe and check all smoke/carbon monoxide detectors are working. Log burners and heating appliances increase the danger of house fires during the winter months. It’s good to have at least one smoke detector in every room and hallway.
Prevent freezing pipes
Insulate pipes which are near windows, doors and parts of the home that are unheated and likely to go below freezing. It’s best practice to insulate all hot water pipes everywhere they run, in the interests of conserving energy.
Prepare for storms and snow
Have a basic survival kit ready. Power outages can happen during storms or heavy snow. Include the basics; bottled water, non-perishable food, flashlight, batteries and first-aid.
Put away gardening tools; rakes, shears, shovels, out of the elements. Helpful tip, use a light coating of vegetable oil to help prevent rust.
Prune plants/ trees
Prevent trees and hedges from causing damage to your property from bad weather. Prune overgrown branches that are near your house or electrical wires.
Make sure you check for any loose or missing tiles. Get a roofer to secure or replace these to prevent leaks.
Flush and insulate hot water tank
Flushing your hot water tank will remove sediment build up and help lengthen its useful life. You can insulate older tanks by wrapping a thick blanket around it. You can buy purpose made blankets at most hardware stores. This will help prevent heat loss, conserve energy and save you money.
Check handrails and walkways
Prevent slips and injuries and make sure walkways are slip-free and handrails are secure for those wetter months.
Stop heat loss. Thermal backed curtains can prevent heat escaping through windows and doors during the colder nights.
Inspect outdoor lighting
Check lights and motion sensors are working or install outdoor lighting in dark areas to help prevent slips on walkways and driveways on those cold, wet nights.
Plan winter garden
Plan a winter garden. Winter flowers brighten up gardens with colour, while planting fresh winter veggies provides all year harvest, think radish, beetroot, leafy greens. Use this time to prune and clear away leaves and unwanted vegetation.
Good insulation means your heating system doesn’t have to be on overdrive all winter long and this can save you money. Check that your attic and crawl spaces are properly insulated.
Consider getting a generator
A small inverter style generator can be an essential item to keep your freezer on when the lights go out. The price of running the generator is peanuts compared to what you will save in spoilt food. Make sure you run it outside, under shelter – and no connections are exposed to the elements.
Double glazed windows
Double glazed windows can reduce the chill from outside and therefore save you money on heating inside. It also reduces condensation on windows, which means goodbye to mildew/ mould.
Consider investing in central heating; it can reduce costs longer term and helps minimize humidity/mould.
If you need someone to help you with any of these tasks, find a tradie through Builderscrack, who can do the job for you.