Top Tips To prepare For Winter
Keep on top of your home maintenance this Winter.
Although we would love to avoid the cold weather and stay in summer forever (our favourite day of the year here in Glasgow) it’s inevitable that, one day, we’ll start to notice the chill in the air. With Halloween and Bonfire Night out of the way, it’s clear that winter is finally on its way, and with it our yearly maintenance checks around the home. If you’ve already carried out your winter maintenance around your home and garden, we applaud you! For the rest of us, it’s time to get into that last- minute gear for home maintenance and the Christmas shopping…
Checking around your home and garden doesn’t need to be too much of a chore – in fact, we’ve made a handy checklist of some of our most important maintenance checks to carry out in the run-up to winter. There’s not much time left to get to work, so jump on these while you still can before any damage occurs.
Weatherproofing Your Doors
The great thing about most doors sold from Shawfield Doors is that when installed they are already finished to a high standard to keep them protected from the elements. All external doors should have the appropriate finish before being installed, and once this has been applied, very rarely do they require much maintenance. Paint or varnish chipping may be an occasional issue, but this can be solved with a new coating of either finish to ensure that any exposed wood is protected. Even small chipped areas could prove to be more damaging the longer they are left untreated. In winter, the elements faced can be a lot harsher (think ice and snow blowing against the wood) so it always pays to check for any damages.
Another area to look over with your doors would be all of your hinges, locks, and any glazed panes. Glass can be prone to cracking and you may want to check that all sealed areas are secure to reduce any chances of a cold draught making its way through and into your home. Not only are they unpleasant, they can cause your heating and energy bills to skyrocket if they are left to continue seeping through into your home during the colder months. Being smart about checking for these draughts will not only keep you warm and comfortable, but it will also save you money in the long run.
It could also be useful to give your internal doors a bit of winter warming, too – although they do not have the same exposure to the elements that external doors do, it would still be handy for you to give them a fresh coating of any chosen finish you desire. Changing up the interior of your home can be warm and refreshing in a new season, especially in winter when the outdoors can be so grey. A new splash of colour is never a bad thing in our opinion!
Clean Out The Gutters
Another essential bit of maintenance that can often be overlooked is to clean out the gutters on your home. It’s something that we can often forget, considering we don’t often look up to them when we’re outside!
Autumn brings with it a lot of change, least of all the changing of the trees’ leaves. This can be quite destructive for homes that are in areas surrounded by more trees as these will much more easily and quickly become clogged with leaves and other Autumnal debris.
Mosses can also begin to grow in gutters due to the damp conditions and a perfectly sheltered environment. These thicker masses can easily block up the waterways, spreading as far as the gutters extend. If you’ve ever seen plantlife poking out from over the top of a gutter, you’ll know exactly the kind of scene we mean. It’s not only unsightly, but the blocked areas can overflow and damage your building.
What’s more? If the gutters become too heavy, or freeze up due to blockages when it gets cold, they can easily tear away from the building and cause a lot more money to need to be invested into repairs than prevention would have cost.
It’s better not to take the risk – take a look at the gutters and check for any build-ups of debris. You’ll thank yourself later!
Check Up On The Heating
You’ve probably noticed that it’s been getting a lot, lot chillier lately – and the central heating is coming back on at full force most evenings. (We miss you already, long summer nights.) Your central heating and boiler are essential to check up on prior to winter making itself known. If you are going away for a while during the winter, you should keep in mind that if your heating system does not automatically warm periodically, to set this up to ensure the pipework in your home does not cool so much that the pipes burst.
Burst pipes can occur when the temperature drops so low that the water in the pipework freezes and expands enough to cause the metal to give away and break. When the ice thaws, you’re left with some lasting damage. Ensuring that your boiler is functioning correctly and setting up regular water heating timing will help to avoid this.
Treat Your Decking Boards And Timber
If you haven’t already, it may be a good time to take a moment to do a little garden maintenance to keep the outside of your home looking as great as the inside. Areas where timber has been used – particularly on decking boards, sheds or other garden furniture – will need a little bit of TLC before the ice and snow settle in.
The best part about fixing garden timber is that the paint we use to make them simply look better does in fact help to keep it safe from the elements, too. (Win-win!)
Working on your decking in Autumn tends to be preferred as the more rainy conditions in spring often leave decking boards with more water soaked through them. Giving them time to dry properly over the summer months is ideal, and you can always give a slight touch-up of colour where necessary after winter!
Timber decking boards will need to be cleaned before you can apply any additional stains or paint to ensure that the wood is given the best chance to take all of the finish. It is also advised to choose a few days you know will be dry, so if the weather is taking a turn for the worse, either reschedule for another day or simply wait until spring if it looks like the timber could last through winter.
Maintenance throughout the year is always advised, not just in the run-up to winter, so keep your timber clean and looking as good as new with new decking oil and/or paint now and then. We recommend using Cuprinol UV Guard decking oil from our Glasgow store to keep your timber decks looking fantastic!
If you have used composite decking materials such as the Ultrashield composite decking tiles, you’re in luck – winter is much less damaging to composite, and as such you can sit back and relax knowing that you have made an investment that withstands the test of the elements and time. Haven’t looked into switching to composite? Take a look at these great composite decking options.
Salt: The Winter Essential
We are all familiar with the usual winter news stories: sudden ice and snow hit, and suddenly there’s not enough salt and grit to go around to keep us from falling over on the pavements. A way to avoid this around your own home would be to invest in purchasing your own salt. There are times where we can’t always rely on the council to keep our walkways safe, and particularly on our own property’s land we need to take extra care ourselves. Making a purchase of your own salt is a great idea to ensure your home remains easily accessible, safe, and free from those nasty slips and falls.
You’ll find that salt can begin to sell out fast closer to harsher weather coming in during the winter, so if you can prepare earlier, it is definitely advisable. Mid to late Autumn is time to stock up before our changeable, temperamental weather really hits! If you are struggling to find where grit is stocked, why not check your local garages or garden centres? These will have most of the items you are looking for.
Keeping The Lawn Green
If there’s one thing that we really can’t stand about winter, it’s got to be the lawn looking worse for wear. The summer months have long gone and with the ground starting to freeze up with these frosty mornings, the lawn is going to begin suffering from a lack of water.
The green colour we love to see so much will start to get yellow around the edges, and the once so vibrant garden can begin to look a little tired under the season’s conditions. It’s difficult to combat, but there are ways around having a yellowing lawn. Our recommendation for year-round greenery is simple.
If you don’t want to keep up with lawn maintenance, why not invest in decking or artificial lawn pieces? These are the perfect low-maintenance solution for keeping the garden looking fresh and green all year around. There’s also the option to use garden planters which prove to be a great option if you would prefer to be able more in control of soil conditions for any plant life during winter.
Stay Cosy With Firewood
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, not only is this author jealous, but you will be looking to find some new stocks of firewood to see you through the colder winter months. Getting stock of your firewood early is key for not getting caught out when supply starts to run short against the growth in demand you’d expect.
Forward-planning to make sure that you aren’t caught unaware is always advisable for anything we do, and the same can be said with your firewood. Choose only firewood that has at least a 20% or below moisture content for the most energy-efficient wood burn, and has the least carbon emissions.
Before winter, you should also check that your fireplace itself is clean and safe to use.
Why not check out our large fire log bags for your winter restock? With prices that can’t be beaten, our range offers everything you need to get through winter cosy and happy.
Refresh Your Home For Winter
Keep your home feeling great through the colder months by preparing now for winter. At Shawfield Doors, we have everything you need to give your home a great refresh this winter. From brand new internal and external doors to the finishes your doors need, we have it all. Visit our Glasgow showroom or browse our full range online for more inspiration.