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How to avoid winter home maintenance issues

shutterstock_363583322With temperatures falling, frosty mornings and snow forecasts for higher grounds, its that time of year when we need to make sure our homes are protected from the inclement weather. With Christmas looming far too quickly, it’s even more important so that you can avoid costly emergency situations.

When the weather starts taking a turn for the worst, many of us ensure that our cars are ready to cope with the winter driving conditions, such as checking your wind screen washer fluid is full, that your tyres are in good condition or swapping to winter tyres, and travelling with an emergency pack just in case the worst should happen.

But not all of us take the time to check our homes are ready for the winter weather and many of us neglect to check that our properties can cope with the severe changes in temperature. If you’re guilty of ignoring your property in the past, here’s a quick rundown of some home maintenance checks you can carry out quickly and easily to make sure you avoid any troublesome problems this Christmas.


Now the leaves have almost completely fallen from the tees, it’s the perfect time to check your gutters and clear out any debris and blockages. If your gutters become blocked, it can cause all manner of problems from rising damp to problems with your foundations. When you’re cleaning your gutters out, make sure you check the whole of your guttering system for leaks or holes. Plastic guttering can crack easily and cast iron guttering, although built to last for years, will need some maintenance over time to keep it in tip-top condition.


Frozen pipes are one of the most common emergency situations in winter and can cause devastating damage. Pipes are normally hidden out of sight, which is why they can be easily forgotten. Make sure you check all your pipework and, if you notice any that are at risk, you can easily lag them with foam to help protect them from freezing. If you are at all worried, contact a local plumber who will be able to give you advice.


Hive is a smart heating thermostat that you can control from your mobile device. Not only will it save energy, as it can increase and decrease the temperature in your home quickly, but it allows you to be in control of your heating system even when you’re not at home. If a big freeze is forecast and you’re not at home, you can easily turn your heating on or up to make sure that your pipes don’t get frozen. Visit their website for more details:



With temperatures falling many of us start using our open fires or wood burners to give our homes some additional warmth but, before you light your fire, make sure you’ve had your chimney swept to avoid a chimney fire. Having your chimney swept will clear any birds’ nests, old soot and, in some cases, will help make your appliance work more efficiently. Visit the National Association of Chimney Sweeps to find a registered chimney sweep in your area:

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