Tips on making your home waterproof for Autumn and Winter
Autumn’s great, isn’t it? The temperatures cool, the trees shed their now copper-red leaves, the daylight hours wane, and the air takes on a new brisk coolness. Winter is the season of long walks warmly wrapped up and wearing snug, comfy boots in woodland, while the ground is carpeted in crisp white snow and the sun shines from a clear blue sky. What a day.
But as we all know, the British autumn and winter isn’t always like that. Often the main identifying features of these months are:
- Damp – the sort of dampness that gets in everywhere, so that even your toast is soggy (let alone your toes).
- Dark – you may be driving at two in the afternoon and your headlights are on because it hasn’t got light today, and now it isn’t going to.
- Cold – the sort of niggling chill that makes you feel you’ll never be warm again
Well, there’s always the prospect of a mug of hot chocolate when the day draws to an end, and while you drink it you can remind yourself that summer will come around again. In the meantime, take care to protect your home against some of the more unpleasant side effects of autumn and winter.
Look after the pipes
Don’t let your pipes freeze. Whatever you have to do to prevent it will be less trouble and less expensive than fixing the damage once a frozen pipe has thawed and sprayed water throughout your home. Make sure pipes and water tanks are lagged, and especially those in the garage and loft. If you have outdoor pipes, lag those with a waterproof material.
Incidentally, do you know where your stop tap is? If not find out, and don’t delay on this. If the worst happens and you have a burst, the water won’t stop flooding into your home until you’ve turned that stop tap off. The aftermath of a burst pipe is not the time to go looking for it.
Look after the gutters
It’s important to keep your gutters clear and to make sure they don’t get clogged by debris and leaves from nearby trees. Gutters help prevent water from accumulating on the roof and damaging brickwork, and make sure that water is driven away from the property. This, in turn, minimises the risk of damp. So always make sure your gutters are kept clear as winter approaches.
Look for gaps around windows and doors
The gaps around windows and doors is where the wind comes in. And the cold, and the damp. Let’s say you decide that you need a new window or a new door, and when you take out the old one, you see mould on the insulation and rotting in the woodwork. Mould and rot only mean one thing, and that is damp – it’s been coming through the gaps and doing its damage unseen. Either seal those gaps yourself, or, if you feel that’s beyond your DIY skills, get a professional to do it. But always work to keep damp out of your home.
Check the roof insulation
It’s the job of a roof to, among other things, protect the property from water damage. If part or all of your roof is flat, then you must ensure it is waterproofed as water collects on flat roofs. The roof must also be properly insulated so that warm air does not escape. Aim to check your roof a few times a year, both before and after the colder, damper months.
Getting rid of the waste
Let’s say you have fitted the new door(s) or window(s) just mentioned. Or you’ve had the roof replaced, or a new soffit installed. Soffits are another way damp gets into a house – in this case the roof space, where you may not even notice the damage until it is well-entrenched – and the new PVC soffits are very effective at keeping damp out. However, you have no idea when you take the old one off what you’re going to find underneath.
Now you have things to get rid of – the old soffit, door or window, cracked and broken slates, empty bags the insulation came in, broken glass – the list of things that are thrown out is almost endless.
That’s where we come in. We specialise in skip hire for residential customers and we’ll take care of everything you need. We’ll also advise you on what you can and can’t put in a skip, and we’ll make sure you don’t fall foul of council regulations.
If you require skip hire, get in touch.