Autumn quickly turns into winter and the best time to conduct home repairs is before the cold really arrives. In our article on ‘Be Efficient With Your Energy This Winter’, we went over some tips on winter-proofing your home and how you can save on your energy bill. This time we are going to take a look at a few preventive maintenance and repair tips that will help protect your home as we enter the colder, wetter, winter season.
Inspect your boiler
Getting your boiler serviced is essential if you want to protect your investment and help keep it safe and efficient. The Express’ guide on boiler maintenance recommends an annual service as the best way to ensure your boiler doesn’t break down unexpectedly. It will also ensure that any problems are fixed early before they become expensive. Besides regular maintenance, many homeowners are also investing in boiler cover insurance to help protect them from unexpected costs. HomeServe advises that homeowners should invest in boiler insurance, which will ensure that any breakdowns will get fixed by a professional and will be covered by the policy. The earlier you have your boiler serviced the better as you definitely don’t want it breaking down in the dead of winter.
Bleed your radiator
Regularly checking your radiator is just as important as maintaining your boiler to ensure that your home heating system is operating efficiently. With radiators, air can get into the system and prevent it from being filled with water, thereby creating cold spots. By bleeding the radiators you are releasing all the trapped air inside to allow water to flow freely. Most boilers have a pressure gauge, so it’s important to monitor it, as low pressure might be a sign your radiator needs bleeding. Training and development manager for home services at SSE, Kenny Baird notes that the system should be pressurised between 1 and 1.5 bar. In turn, this will help the radiator operate optimally with no cold spots.
Check your roof
Just like humans lose a significant amount of their heat through their heads, so do homes lose heat through the roof. However, very few homeowners actually inspect their roofs or take the appropriate measures to make sure there is no damage and that it is properly insulated. The Building Engineering Services Association (B&ES) explains that a home loses 25% of its heat through its roof, and this problem is easily remedied by insulating your loft. While many homes still use 100mm insulation, it’s recommended that you go with 270mm roll insulation. This will help keep your home warmer and could save you up to £150 in energy costs.
Rain gutters have the important job of guiding water off your roof and straight down the drain. However, if your gutters are blocked with leaves, moss and debris from the autumn months, it will prevent rainwater from properly draining. This can cause water to flow down the side of your house creating discolouration on the walls, or worse cause damp and mould and in some cases structural damage to your gutters and roof. Cleaning your gutters on an annual basis is very important to ensure water is flowing freely without being obstructed in any way and to help avoid expensive gutter repairs in the future.