Although the winter season can often be frustrating, it is a fantastic opportunity to get work done around the house that has been building up over the years. Quite often, you will find your house needs certain home improvements to cope with the elements in the winter - so here at Permagard we’ve put together 10 home improvement tips you can carry out whilst waiting out the bad weather over the holiday season.
Make Sure the Chimney is Swept
If you have a woodburning stove or open hearth, it’s likely you haven’t lit it for a while and therefore there will be a build-up of soot and creosote lining the inside of the chimney. While you are getting your chimney swept, make sure the damper works and the chimney itself draws the smoke out of the room. Having a fire in your house can add a cosy and attractive atmosphere to your house.
Draught Proofing your home will not only keep it warm, but also save a lot of money further down the line. Make sure any gaps around windows are covered, close doors when required and use draft excluders underneath doors to keep the cold wind at bay.
Which? Online have a good guide on keeping draught out the home : http://www.which.co.uk/energy/creating-an-energy-saving-home/
Clean the Gutters
Although this isn’t necessarily home improvement in the strictest sense - it’s a vital part of home repair and improvement that mustn’t be overlooked. Whether there are plants growing in the gutter or it’s just simply a case of the season’s leaves - they must be cleared, cleaned out and any cracks or damage repaired. For more information, you can read our guide to cleaning gutters.
Look out for Hidden Leaks
Cold weather is known to wreak havoc on your house’s piping and water system. Be sure to wrap important exterior pipes in wadding or heating tape, and mildly apply heat to frozen sections of pipe if the weather does take a turn for the worse. Check the insulation on your pipes and make sure you know where your home’s stopcock is if the worst does happen and a pipe cracks or bursts!
Check Central Heating
Your central heating system is of course integral to the warm operation of your house during the winter months, and you’ll need it to be working to its fullest efficiency to make the most of your home. Make sure the boiler is working as it should and has been recently serviced, that there are no leaks in the pipes and that the thermostat is working as it should. Make sure also that if your home is heated with gas, that you’ve had it looked at by a registered GasSafe Engineer. If it runs on oil, ensure you have plenty of reserve and take into account potential oil delivery delays over the Christmas period.
Add Insulation to your Property
It’s vital to be aware of the ways insulating your home can have a positive effect on your property and its comfort levels in winter. There are lots of different ways to insulate your home and many of these can be done yourself.
Here at Permagard we’re damp proofing experts so we cannot extoll the virtues of a comprehensive damp proofing solution enough. With exterior walls that are exposed to the elements, the right damp proofing solution will prevent water ingress and halt any structural damage to the property during winter months. Visit our damp proofing pages for more information and read our tips on maintaining a dry home in winter.
Repaint your Walls
Winter can also be the perfect time to do something you want to and lift your spirits. Staring at the same colour on the walls all day, for example, can get boring, and even more so in winter when you spend the majority of your time indoors. Consider repainting your walls and doing a spot of redecoration to ensure you keep a clear mind and happy with your space throughout the winter period.
We all like a good comfortable bathroom, and when it’s cold and windy outside there’s nothing better than wallowing in hot water! Doing some repairs in your bathroom is a great idea during the winter - and you’re likely to feel the benefits more than in the summer. Make sure you pay attention to any condensation issues - view our infographic on Condensation in the Home for more information.
Following on from the idea that it’s worth in winter taking some time to redecorate, new lighting can also make a huge difference to your home. Think about investing in a new style of lighting, or at least replace bulbs so your body clock can keep operating throughout the dark mornings and evenings.
Permagard have been in the damp proofing and home renovation industry for many years - and we are happy to advise on the best procedures if you are thinking about carrying out any of the above work to your home this winter. In addition, visit our product pages for more information on the damp proofing equipment we specialise in.