One of the low-key pleasures of winter is the way that it turns a home into a cozy haven. Outside may be wet, freezing and windy, but indoors it’s warm and fluffy. This is where a home really comes into its own; in summer, you’ll want to be outside making the most of the good weather, but once the nights start getting longer, you’re very glad of the shelter. Just be sure you've kept up with winter home maintenance chores to avoid winter worries.
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Your house keeps you warm and safe in winter, that’s not in dispute. What you may not have considered in equal measure is that you can provide the same service for your house. In short, only with the correct maintenance can your house truly deliver what you need it to. So it makes sense to look for ways that you can protect against the problems winter can cause in your home.
Pipes can burst – and do a lot of damage
Most of us probably know quite well that outdoor pipes can be prone to freezing, and consequently to bursting, when temperatures drop below zero. We can prevent this from happening by keeping them well insulated and ensuring that the pipes are free of backed-up water. It's one the most important steps you can take for winter home maintenance. What many people don’t realize is that indoor pipes, especially in rooms that aren’t heated, can also freeze and burst – and the problem is much more grave when that happens. To prevent this, seal off any areas prone to drafts and use heat tape on the pipes, allowing water to flow through.
Your gutters can fall
If you live somewhere with snowy winters, then you’ll be aware of the importance of timely gutter cleaning. If your gutters pack with snow that then freezes, the result can be that the gutter expands, then contracts and cracks, before eventually coming loose from the side of the house. Similarly, significant leaf fall combined with heavy rain and then sub-zero temperatures can make this damage more likely. If this happens, the gutter can even take some of the roof with it. The solution? Simply keep those gutters clear; if they’re allowed to fill up, that’s when the problem is likely to develop.
Your plaster and drywall can crack
When you think about it, a house is a miracle of engineering; the materials have been brought together in a way which stands tall and strong against a myriad external forces. It’s perhaps unsurprising that, after a time, the cracks can literally begin to show.
It’s particularly likely for this to happen in winter, for one particular reason: as the day begins, the walls will be cold like the weather outside. As people move around, and the house becomes heated by various means, the walls will warm up and expand. When they cool again, they contract – and when this process is repeated, it places strain on the walls. Keeping a consistent internal temperature – by running the heating at a lower level for longer rather than blasting it – gives the best chance of preventing cracks from developing. It’s also a much more sustainable way to heat your home.
Winter brings the best out of your home, but it can also place an additional strain upon it, so take care to follow the above advice about winter home maintenance and do right by your home.