Winter maintenance for your home is vital. We have a project identifying several jobs to be done at this time of year. These include:
- clearing you gutters - we know, no-one likes doing this, but it is worth it if it avoids blockages which could cause water to freeze and cause damage to pipes and buildings
- adding drain tidys to keep leaves etc from blocking your drains
- cleaning paths and patios to avoid them getting slippery and dangerous
- ensuring you have adequate outside lighting, ideally fitting PIR’s which will turn themselves on when they detect movement
- check your roof for missing tiles or damage
- go round the house filling any gaps you find round doors and windows as well as between floorboards
If you need to get a professional tradesperson in to do any home improvement jobs, you can get free quotes via our Find a Tradesman service, which finds appropriate, insured tradespeople in your local area .
DIY Doctor would like to welcome Gapseal to the website as they introduce a new project on how to seal and draughtproof the sash windows in your home.
Gapseal is designed to seal gaps from 2mm to 9mm thick and is very easy to fit. Draughtproofing your windows is a great way to prevent heat loss in your home and therefore of course helps reduce your energy bills – so it’s win-win!
To find out more and to get step by step instruction on fitting Gapseal go to our project page.
The proposed government policy called ‘Green Deal’, designed to improve the energy efficiency of homes, will be consulted on by ministers later this month.
Under the scheme, apparently families will be offered ‘cashback’ of up to £150 as an incentive to get involved. Householders can then have their homes made more energy efficient by having loft and wall insulation fitted as well as double glazing, and pay for this in installments. This cost would of course be offset by lower energy bills.
The idea of ’cashback’ is under discussion as a form of incentive, although Labour’s climate change spokesperson Luciana Berger said that “it would be wrong to classify it as a true incentive given it would have to be paid back over time by consumers who took up the deal.”
So, watch this space……….
We may only be in the first half of September, but it would definately appear that summer is over, and so we should all be turning our minds to any autumn jobs that need attention before the weather turns more wintery.
Our project on Autumn Maintenance Checks gives some good pointers including attending to any external decorating, making sure you get your boiler or other heating serviced, do any loft insulating needed, check all windows and doors are draught proofed, make sure any extractor fans are working to avoid condensation, checking and clearing guttering, cleaning patios and paths and making sure any exterior lighting is working. There is also instruction on dry lining walls.
While the weather for many of us is still quite mild, it is a good time to get up in your loft and insulate. You can lose up to 15% of your heating through your roof if you don’t have insulation, and this can equate to a loss of up to £155 a year!
Top tips on loft insulation:
Clear all rubbish and clutter out of the loft.
To stand in the loft use a length of board about 25mm thick and at least 1.3m long, to lay across at least 3 joists. The ceiling joists themselves are not meant to be stood on as they are not load bearing and the gaps in between the joists are 12mm plasterboard which will not support the li8ghtest of humans!
Use a proprietary lead lamp to provide adequate lighting in your loft.
It is very important that your loft is ventilated. Poor ventilation leads to condensation forming in the loft and this condensation can soon rot roof timbers and cause structural damage. If there are no roof windows then follow the loft floor along to the point where the roof comes down to meet it. At this point (called the eaves) there should be a gap between the underside of the roof and the outside wall. This gap should be about 25mm wide and will usually have a meshed grill within it stopping insects and birds getting into the loft. Any cracks or holes in the ceiling should be filled before laying your covering.
All wiring in the loft must be lifted and laid on top of the insulation otherwise the cables will overheat and become a fire hazard.
See our project on loft insulation and how to fit it for more information.