As the days grow colder and leaves start falling from the trees, it's clear that autumn is on its way. Although it might seem tempting to settle in for the colder months with a mug of hot chocolate and an extensive supply of movies, this is the ideal time to start preparing for the season ahead. Once you've reorganised your winter wardrobe, it's time to start weather proofing your property. Here's our essential checklist of key considerations.
This part of your property is your first barrier against the colder weather. In the run up to autumn, don't forget to:
1. Check your roof. Look for loose tiles, slates or shingles. If you have a flat roof, make sure you clear any debris from the surface.
2. Check for drafts. Focus on key entry points like windows and doors, and ensure that any gaps are sealed up to preserve energy.
3. Check the exterior structure. Look for any cracks or fissures, and enlist the help of a professional if you find any particularly noticeable damage.
4. Reinforce windows and doors. If you're in a temperamental climate, consider fitting storm doors and windows.
5. Check drainage systems. Clear gutters of any blockages or loose debris.
The inside of your home should be as warm and comfortable as possible, especially on nights when you just want to curl up by the fire with a good book. Here are a few things you can do to make sure it stays that way:
1. Test and update your fire safety measures. That includes carbon monoxide detectors too, changing the batteries if necessary.
2. Insulate your attic. This is the best way to maximise your energy efficiency.
3. Reverse your ceiling fan. Doing this in autumn and winter will keep warm air circulating around the room.
4. Insulate piping. Wrap piping in pre-moulded foam rubber sleeves, or insulate with fibreglass to prevent bursts in icy weather.
5. Have your furnace professionally inspected. They should also perform any general maintenance on leaks, air filters and heating efficiency measures.
6. Invest in a programmable thermostat. Set it to lower the temperature when you're not at home, and stay comfortably warm when you are.
7. Prepare your fireplace. If you have a wood-burning stove, make sure you're well stocked up with firewood and have your chimney professionally checked.
It's not just the house that requires protection from the elements; the grounds need looking after, too. Before the cold sets in, make sure you:
1. Remove seasonal furniture. Now is also the time to wash any cushions or upholstery, ready for next spring.
2. Close the outdoor pool. This will make sure it stays in good condition over the winter months.
3. Tidy up the grounds. Remove any dead leaves from the paths and grounds, fertilise the lawns and trim back shrubbery.
4. Inspect surrounding trees. Look out for any loose, broken or overhanging branches in the vicinity of your home and hire a tree surgeon to prevent any potential damage.
5. Service summer equipment and vehicles. Also ensure that any winter equipment, such as a snow blower, is ready to use.
If you are looking at investing in a new property this winter, stop by your local Engel & Völkers shop. Whatever the weather, our experienced agents are ideally placed to offer their advice and expertise on the best quality homes across the globe.