I’m writing this as the summer holidays are drawing to a close because the late summer months are the perfect time to get these jobs done – the light is better, days are longer and everything seems less onerous when the sun is shining.
Some while ago we compiled a list of jobs that could help avoid expensive winter call-outs if dealt with before the cold, damp weather kicks in. Martin Lewis advocates allocating one day a year to overhaul your finances and check that everything is working as hard as it can for you. The skill is to treat that day as if it were a normal working day, get up at the normal time, follow your usual routine but working on saving yourself money instead. The same could be said of looking at your home in advance before any problems arise.
- Roofs: replace any missing roof tiles or patch any holes to prevent water entering the space. This is much safer to do in the dry!
- Guttering and drains: repair any broken guttering and clear all pipes and drains of fallen leaves and debris. Rain or melting snow that can’t easily drain away from your house can cause leaks or damp problems.
- Replace damaged fascias: fascias and soffit boards provide the finishing where the rafters of the roof meet the external wall. If they are damaged, loose or missing, the edge of the roof can be exposed to the elements and open to erosion and decay.
- Re-pointing or rendering: fix any cracked or loose pointing. If water gets in, it can freeze and expand causing more damage.
- Maintain your uPVC: clean those windows and lubricate the hinges and frictions stays. Don’t let them get like this!
- Check your heating systems: a Gas Safe registered engineer should service your boiler every year before you fire up your heating. And if you have a gas fire, have that checked too! Bleed your radiators so they are working efficiently and heat is balanced throughout the house.
- Cracks and draughts: seal cracks around windows and doors with new caulking, draught excluders or rubber seals. You may want to consider new windows or sealed glass units to improve performance, or invest in some curtains or thermal linings to block out the dark and cold.
- Insulation: check the insulation in your loft and add more if required. Lag pipes, especially on outdoor taps. You may want to turn off the water supply to external taps to prevent water freezing in the pipe.
- Chimneys: cut the risk of a chimney fire and inspect and sweep your chimney and fireplace before lighting your first fire of the season.
- Logs: stock up with logs ready for when you need them. They can often be bought cheaper during the summer.
Then sit back and relax!