The approach of winter often means festive cheer, cosy nights and Christmas decorations. But, the cold weather can run risks to the safety of your property and the people in it. Read on for nine winter maintenance tips that will keep the exterior of your property protected from the harsh weather.
1) Have your chimney checked
If you have a fireplace or stove, it’s important to have it checked out before using it, especially if it’s been a long time. Sometimes, debris can build up inside your chimney, and this could start a fire. If your chimney isn’t cleared, this will also lead to a build up of smoke in your home that’s unable to escape. Too much smoke will increase your chances of carbon monoxide poisoning, so it’s important to safely use and maintain your chimney.
While a lot of tasks around the house can be DIY’d, it’s recommended that you have a professional inspect and clean your chimney. Not only are they difficult to access, but the safety risks that come with fires in your home aren’t ones that you want to leave to chance. Plus, if you have children, they’ll want to know that their presents can be delivered right on time for Christmas morning.
2) Clear drains and gutters
Oftentimes, winter comes with heavy rain, so the last thing you want is restricted water flow. Clearing your drains and gutters is an easy way to prevent leaks and damp spots from the exterior of your property. What’s more, ice can easily build up in your gutters, which in turn weighs them down and could cause some serious damage. So, as well as clearing your gutters in the run up to winter, you should make sure to regularly check them for any build up. Cleaning your gutters regularly also makes it easier, as there’ll be less solid chunks of ice to struggle with.
3) Store outdoor furniture inside
As attractive as a well-furnished garden can look, your furniture also needs protection from the harsh winter elements. This may not be necessary for the most durable outdoor furniture, but things such as cushions should be protected from the cold, wet weather. Most people opt to store their furniture in a garage or shed, but if you don’t have the space, you could use waterproof sheeting to cover it.
Once the weather turns cold, it’s unlikely that your outdoor furniture will get much use, so try to prepare for winter as soon as possible. Moving furniture that’s covered in snow and ice is no easy task, and they might take a while to dry out, too. This is also the case for smaller decorative items or chairs and stools which might blow away in strong winds.
4) Trim trees and bushes
Falling trees and branches can not only damage your property, but they could seriously injure someone, too. The main cause of concern comes from trees which overhang your roof, as the weight of snow could cause them to fall onto your building. Trimming bushes also reduces the risk of branches flying off and damaging surrounding cars or property. A bush that’s trimmed down during winter will be less likely to sustain or cause damage. Plus, it’s easier to get your gardening done before the extreme weather begins, so your garden will look more presentable during the winter.
5) Clean debris from flat roofs
Having a flat roof runs the risk of damage if debris or water is left to build up. Whether this is on your garage or any other parts of your property, it’s important to remove debris. During winter especially, wet leaves and branches can weigh down on flat roofs, and they’re unable to fall elsewhere, unlike slanted roofs. So, take some time to keep checking and removing any debris from your flat roof to prevent it from caving in or causing structural damage.
6) Have ploughing tools ready
If snow is common where you are, you might need to plough your driveways for easy access to your property. Ensure that your snow blower or ploughing tools are working and ready to go – instead of finding out too late. If you need to hire a service to plough your driveway, make sure to clearly mark your property for them. Keep an eye on your driveway gate’s access control so that you can quickly and easily let them in.
7) Combat icy ground
Slips and falls are common during winter, but there are still steps you can take to reduce this risk on your property. Prepare for snow by scattering salt along your driveway and other walkways around your property. Be sure to stay up to date with weather forecasts so that you can plan ahead for any heavy snow. Putting down gravel may also help to make your driveway less slippery, as it provides extra grip for both cars and people.
8) Check for cracks or leaks
No one wants to wake up to a puddle of rainwater inside their house. So, you should check the exterior of your property for any potential leaks before extreme weather begins. What starts as a small crack can easily deteriorate into a bigger problem, especially during cold weather. Most cracks or leaks are easily fixable by yourself or a tradesman, so it’ll save you time and money to catch them early.
9) Look out for driveway gate damage
As well as checking the buildings on your property, check for damage on your fences or driveway gate. Now, driveway gate materials such as composite and aluminium are very weather resistant and durable. However, that doesn’t mean that maintenance isn’t still important. Especially for wooden driveway gates, be sure to check for cracks or other signs of wear and tear that need repairing. Keeping your driveway gates and fences in top shape is essential for improving your garden security, so don’t skimp on gate maintenance.
Winter maintenance doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom – why not check out five ways to decorate your driveway gates for Christmas? A secure and stylish driveway gate is the perfect way to keep your property safe during winter, so get in touch to find out more.