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How to prepare your home for a harsh winter

Living in the UK the weather can be quite unpredictable. However, over the last couple of years, the weather does seem to have been going back to how it was when I was a teenager. Therefore it is more likely than ever that we could experience a harsh winter that we are no longer used to. In this post, we will look at tips for preparing your home for a harsh winter as it is always better to be safer than sorry. 

It is important to consider the location of your home in regards to the type of weather you could experience. This is particularly true for those who are looking to buy.  For example; those looking at real estate for sale in Whistler, Canada will have different considerations than someone looking to purchase in Suffolk in the UK. 

Preparing the outside of your home for a harsh winter

Check your roof

It is a good idea to check your roof for any loose tiles or leaks. If strong winds come with any winter storms there is a danger that loose titles could get stripped away. If getting access to your roof is a problem, you could reach out to family, friends or neighbours to see if they would mind having a quick check. It is better to secure any loose titles now when we still have good weather than wait until the worst happens in the midst of a storm. 

Clear your gutters

Blocked gutters can cause a lot of problems in the winter. For example, if you have a blocked gutter then water can build up and then freeze. Then when the temperature warms up the ice will melt and the water will overflow and could leak into the roof. Gutter cleaning can seem like a chore that you want to avoid but I would rather clean my gutter than deal with a leaking roof!

Check your perimeter

It is important that you make sure that your paths are all clear. If heavy snow falls, you are unlikely to remember the toys or tools that were left out on the path. You could seriously injure yourself by walking into something hidden by snow. You also need to look for any tree branches that are too close to your home as in a storm they could be blown into your windows or roof. 

Make sure you have the right tools

Things such as a shovel and some deicer or salt are a must for keeping your home protected. You do not have to spend loads of money on fancy tools, as long as you have the basics and you know where they are. Then, if a snowstorm hits, you know exactly where to go to grab your shovel and clear your paths. 

Severe scenery of remote rural village houses covered with thick layer of snow during intense snowstorm on cold winter day. Harsh winter weather!
As beautiful as the snow can be, it sure can reduce visibility.

Preparing the inside of your home for a harsh winter

Insulation – doors and windows

There are lots of ways to insulate your home. The first is to check all of your windows and doors that open outside for drafts. Windows that have small drafts can be simply fixed with some filler or foam tape depending on the size of the gap. Older windows that ideally need replacing at some point in the future can be made warmer by hanging heavy curtains and keeping the curtains drawn. 

For doors that have drafts from the bottom, you can purchase or even make your own draft excluders. They use to be called door snakes when I was a kid and they were often made to look like snakes! Alternatively, you can now buy silicone door strips that are attached to the bottom of doors to keep out drafts or you could even hang a thick heavy curtain at the door. 

By keeping drafts out of all of the doors and windows in your home, you will not only help protect yourself should the heating go out due to breakdown or storms, you will also probably save money on your heating bills as well as your home will keep the heat inside for longer. 

Insulation – pipes and lofts

Loft insulation is well known to help keep heat inside the home. It is worth checking that your insulation is still okay and does not need replacing or any extra added. However, what may be less known is that wrapping rags around outside exposed pipes can prevent pipes from bursting in freezing conditions. 

Emergency supplies

The good thing about living in England is that even in the harshest winter conditions, we would be unlikely to be left without access to food, water and electricity for more than a day or two. Therefore if you want to be extra prepared then you could make a small emergency supply kit that would not take very long to make or take up to much space to store. 

Things that you may like to include in your kit are;

  • Candles, lighters or matches.
  • Torches and batteries.
  • bottled water.
  • Nonperishable items that do not need to be refrigerated such as tins of soup and tinned fruit. Remember, anything with a best before date can be eaten years later safely, they just might not taste as good as they would have done before the date. 
  • Clean blankets and jumpers that you do not use anymore.  
Landscape Photography of Snow Pathway Between Trees during a harsh Winter
Snow looks so beautiful but can also be very dangerous

It is hoped that you have found some of the tips on preparing your home for a harsh winter useful. Leave your thoughts in the comments or connect on social media. 

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