The leaves are turning colour, the mornings and evenings now require a jumper, and pumpkins are on sale at the shops – now is the perfect time to carry out a few jobs to prepare your home for the colder months.
Check your boiler…
Even if you pride yourself on not touching the thermostat until November, turn your heating on now for long enough to check that your radiators are heating properly. If they aren’t, you’ve got time to call in a plumber to have a look before they get booked up with other people’s winter emergencies!
If you haven’t had it done yet, it might also be worth booking a Gas Safe registered plumber to perform an annual service – no-one wants broken heating whilst they’re hibernating!
… and keep your heating on
If you are the person who keeps an unrelenting eye on the thermostat, this one is for you. Setting the central heating to around 14 degrees Celsius during the cold months helps prevent frozen pipes.
Make sure your roof is sound
This doesn’t involve a ladder. Stand back and take a look at your roof. If you can see any broken or missing tiles or spot any which appear to be loose at an odd angle, then now is the time to get them fixed before strong winds or heavy snow can create further problems.
Check your chimney
Whilst you’re outside looking up, have a look at your chimney if you have one and check for cracks or loose render around chimney pots. High winds or heavy rain and snow can weaken already weak points and create further instability.
If you use your chimney for open fires, make sure you have had it professionally cleaned. Blockages caused by bits dropped by nesting birds, or a build-up of soot can cause chimney fires which are quick to take hold, and hard to put out making them incredibly dangerous.
Prepare your windows
Have a wander round the outside and check the window frames, especially wooden ones. Fill in any new cracks and give them a coat of paint if they need it. This will help prevent wood which is exposed to the elements from rotting.
Clear your guttersAlthough they make a pretty picture whilst still on the tree, autumn leaves can play havoc with homeowners by clogging guttering and creating ‘foliage damns’ which allow water to collect in the gutter and start leaking into your roof. To avoid this from happening, regularly check your gutters.