Because we don’t want to add to the stress that you’re already under, we won’t tell you a bunch of scary stories about what could go wrong if you don’t take care of the things that we consider to be necessary home maintenance tasks that need to be completed before the onset of winter. Life is already difficult enough as it is.
Putting a strong emphasis on prevention, or getting ahead of problems such as an emergency water leak, as soon as possible is a good idea that you can hunker down at home and wait out the winter in peace. It is worth it for some peace of mind, as well; if you do end up having a problem despite your best efforts to prevent it from happening, your insurers are more likely to pay out, rather than telling you that your claim is invalid because you failed to maintain it, and this makes the investment worthwhile.
When you turn up the central heating in your home, there is nothing quite as comforting as the reassuring thump that your boiler makes. But there is more to keeping a house warm than just flipping an on/off switch, and each of those component parts needs to be maintained.
If you have gas fireplaces or central heating, you are required by law to have them inspected annually by a qualified professional who possesses the appropriate credentials.
You can also do a lot of it by yourself, which is another option. Check the lagging on all of your pipes, both inside and outside, to see if that will help prevent your pipes from freezing, which would be a recipe for disaster in the form of flooding. Maintain a constant temperature of 10 degrees Celsius for your central heating system once the winter chill has taken hold. If you are going to be away from your house for an extended period of time during the worst of the winter weather, you should program a timer to turn on your heating system for one hour every day. It is also important to be familiar with the location of your stopcock “just in case.”
Fires, chimneys, rain gutters, and roofing
Have you checked to see if your gutters are ready for the snow to melt?
Before winter arrives, it is imperative that you add cleaning and repairing any open fires or stoves to the list of things that need to be done around the house for maintenance. Many insurance companies mandate that chimneys, flues, and appliances be inspected on an annual basis. For a job of this nature, you should seek the services of an experienced and competent chimney sweep.
Some homeowners are perfectly capable of cleaning out their own gutters and inspecting their roofs for loose tiles, but for the majority of homeowners, these are tasks that they are either unable to do on their own or do not want to do on their own. This is completely understandable given the height of some of the rooftops in the area. In any case, it is unquestionably beneficial to complete these tasks before winter, when the presence of ice, snow, and freezing fog can make things significantly more challenging.