It may still feel like summer, but now is the time to get your home ready for winter. We all know the drill: You wake up on a Saturday with every intention of doing some pre-winter maintenance but ditch your best-laid plans as soon as you feel the late-summer sun on your shoulders. Take a tip from the experts and avoid putting off what you can do in a snap today—whether it’s replacing old weather-stripping or adjusting the pitch of the gutters. You can always put your feet up later, when it’s time to rake the leaves.
Here are some ideas:
Clean Out the Gutters
All the leaves and grime that you neglected while you were out swimming, hiking, or riding your bike this summer have built up in your gutters. If left full of debris, clogged gutters and drains can form blockages that prevent your drainage systems from working properly. This can lead to water seeping into your home. Save yourself the hassle of repairing a leak by simply cleaning your gutters and drains now.
Keep the Outside Air Out and the Inside Air In
South African homes, on the whole, are not built with cold weather in mind. Warm air will escape out of any cracks and can make your heating system work harder and cost you more to heat your home. Use caulk to seal cracks and openings between stationary house components like a door frame and weather-stripping to seal components that move like an operable window.
Ensure Good Lighting
The autumn and winter months mean less daylight. I know we are all keen on saving energy, but we don’t want any falls while you carry in your groceries. Luckily, you can still use your outdoor lights without wasting money and energy. Because outdoor lights are typically left on for long periods of time, buying energy saving products and bulbs to light your outdoor pathways or porches can save a lot of energy. Look for products that come with automatic daylight shut-off and motion sensors.
One of the easiest ways to ensure that your paving will survive the winter is to use a sealer on them. This protective layer keeps the stones from getting scraped, chipped or eroded by extreme weather. Using a sealer will also help prevent water and ice from seeping into the pavers, which is especially important since water and ice can cause damage within the stones.
Keeping your Paving Clean
One of the best ways to protect your paving is to keep it clean. The longer harmful substances sit on the pavers, the more damage they will accumulate.
Sweep the pavers regularly to remove any surface debris, including dirt, grass clippings and leaves, which can not only stain the bricks, but block the sunlight so the pavers don’t fade evenly.