It’s easy to moan about the weather in Autumn as Summer is always a tough act to follow.
And, when the weather turns, it can swiftly cause problems with your property if you haven’t adequately prepared. So what should you do to get your home in shape for the autumn?
Clean out your gutters
A good place to start is with your guttering. It’s incredibly easy for your gutters to become clogged with leaves and other bits of debris, but that doesn’t pose a problem during the summer months when it tends to rain less. However, when the rains do come, it can cause structural issues or damp.
Remember to check the downpipes for blockages, as well as the gutters themselves. You may be able to do this yourself, or you can get professionals in to check the state of your gutters for you.
You can check that your gutters are clear once you finish by pouring a large jug of water on them. If everything drains away properly, then the gutters are clear. If not, then you may need to revisit them to see what’s causing the issue.
How does your roof look?
While you are up clearing out the gutters, it’s a good idea to run the rule over the state of your roof as well.
If you have loose slates or tiles, then when things get a bit blowy in autumn they could easily be blown off and cause damage. Any gaps in the tiles can leak and lead to the build up of damp as well, so it’s well worth getting those sorted before things turn wet and chilly.
Check the boiler and radiators
Chances are you haven’t had the heating on for a good few months, but it won’t be long until that changes. The last thing you want is to discover that your boiler and radiators are in no fit state just when you need them.
So give your heating a quick run out now just to check everything is working as it should be. It may be that you need to bleed the radiators to ensure they will heat up the room as needed when the temperature does drop.
If you haven’t had your boiler serviced in a while, then now is the time to do it. If the boiler does need some form or repair, or even to be fully replaced, then you don’t want to have to go through that when the temperatures are nearing zero.
What insulation do you have?
Keeping your home nice and warm when things get chilly is not just down to your heating system though. The better the insulation that you have, the less chance of that heat escaping out of your property. Good insulation keeps your home warm and lowers your energy bills, so it’s really worth having.
That means checking the loft and looking into cavity wall insulation if you don’t already have it, but also considering putting in draught excluders on the main doors to the property. Just fitting your hot water cylinder with an insulating jacket will save you £18 a year in heating costs and 110kg of carbon dioxide emissions, according to Energy Saving Trust.
Clear out the garden
Your garden is going to be exposed to the elements, so you need to think carefully about whether the items you keep out there need to be moved. It’s a good idea to move your patio furniture into the shed, or purchase some sort of cover for them, so that they have a little extra protection against the wind and rain and you’ll be able to use them for longer.
You should also look into securing items like trampolines down, so that if and when the winds get up, those items don’t take off. Trampolines act as a wing essentially, and if the winds get underneath them, they can fly off and do some serious - and costly - damage.
If you have plenty of flower pots and containers in your garden, then you might want to consider raising them from ground level, perhaps by putting them onto spare bricks or pot feet, as this can help them avoid damage from any light flooding.
Check the fences
While you’re outside, be sure to check over the state of your fences. Make sure they are firmly secured into the ground, so that any high winds don’t see them flying off, while giving them a fresh lick of fence paint or treatment will help them brush off the effects of any bad weather.
Ensuring your fences are well-maintained and sturdy can also help keep your home secure throughout the colder, darker months.
For more information about how to protect your home and belongings, go to Solved.