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 .
As everyone is preparing for Christmas and many are putting up their outdoor lights, DIY Doctor would like to give some helpful tips on installing your outside christmas lights safely.
- Ideally have somebody else to help you – holding ladder etc.
- Make sure the lights are manufactured for use outside.
- Read all manufacturers instructions thoroughly.
- If you are using old lights – check them over for any damage, and if you find any are damaged or fraying – bin them!
- Remember ladder safety – don’t take risks and over-stretch yourself, you really don’t want to end up in hospital over Christmas.
- Use cable ties to attach lights to guttering supports or other bits of house that you can get to, and if possible put hooks up that can be left all year so it easier to do every year.
- Use a Residual Current Device (RCD). You can buy portable units for outdoor use, or you can have them permanently installed by an electrician.
- Switch your lights off overnight and when you leave the house.
- Contact an electrician if you want to fit an outdoor weatherproof socket - use our Find a Tradesman service to get free quotes from electricians in your area.
Hopefully you will end up with something a bit more like this …….
…….and less like this!
A health and safety instructor narrowly avoided serious injury whilst giving a demonstration on ladder safety, when he came crashing to the ground. The instructor, Paul Cavanagh, who works for a company in Tyne and Wear, was demonstrating how to work safely up a ladder by tethering yourself to it.
Unfortunately, he firstly forgets to put on his hard hat so has to be thrown it whilst up the ladder – not recommended!. Then as he is demonstrating how the safety harness holds him as he steps off a rung of the ladder, the ladder falls to the side and both ladder and Mr Cavanagh come down over a garden fence.
For more information and advice on how to use a ladder safely please see our project page.
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.