As with many of those seemingly small maintenance issues, whether it be cleaning out gutters or fixing a leaky roof, the cost of putting mundane tasks in the too-hard basket for too long can soon add up. We asked the experts how to weatherproof your home for winter.
Here are their top eight tips:
1. Clear your drains and gutters
Andrew Blockley, operations manager at Red8 Roofing, says blocked gutters and drains can “back up and cause water to overflow, which can lead to widespread water damage and prove to be hugely expensive”. Blockley says it’s worth investing in gutter guards to prevent leaves from piling up.
2. Have your roof assessed for leaks
Blockley advises home owners to regularly have a professional assess their roof for leaks. He says roofs need to be watertight or they will lose heat during winter.
“You have to check your roof to make sure it is not leaking, because if water gets in, it can create dampness at the very least,” he says. “If your roof is leaking it can also lead to rotten timbers and nobody wants their roof collapsing in heavy winds and storms over winter.”
3. Check your house for signs of mould
Robert Arroyo, director with home ventilation experts Ecologistics, says wintry weather can contribute to problems with mould and rising damp. He recommends looking for mould in areas such as the bathroom ceiling or walk-in wardrobe – places that are typically dark and dank.
“If mould gets into the gyprock you might have to replace a ceiling. You need to get someone in to assess the problem and improve the ventilation before the problem gets worse,” he says.
4. Ensure your home is well insulated
Woman relaxing on sofa, reading magazine Roofs, housings, roof tiles, preparing your home for winterKeep your home snug during the cooler months by ensuring you have proper insulation in your roof.
Your home will not hold the weather at bay during winter if it is not well insulated. Arroyo advises that it’s important to restrict and to control the moisture levels in a property by ensuring the roof is well insulated and ventilated: “If the roof is not insulated your home will be too hot in summer and too cold in winter.”
5. Improve sub-floor ventilation
Arroyo says sub-floor areas with a lot of moisture and mould can lead to termites and rotten timber.
“The joists and bearings can rot with the moisture. If you don’t take care of sub-floor ventilation then mould problems will get worse during winter when things tend to stay damp for longer,” he says.
Arroyo advises checking for signs of water entering a house. “If there is water sitting inside the house it can go right through the cavity of the walls and damage the structure of the house,” he notes. Arroyo says mould problems require expert attention.
6. Seal large gaps in your windows and doors
Sydney Personalised Painting Services’ Peter Mouzomenos says it’s important to seal large gaps around window and doorframes.
“Sealing large gaps helps prevent the water coming in and ensures the heat is not escaping. If your windows or doors aren’t sealed this will add to the deterioration and make it a costly problem to fix,” he explains.
7. Paint the exterior of your home
Caucasian man painting house Roofs, housings, roof tiles, preparing your home for winterA fresh lick of paint can help keep moisture out and prevent water damage to timber. Photo: Hill Street Studios
Mouzomenos says painting the exterior of your home will also help to protect your biggest financial asset against weather conditions such as the rain, wind and sun.
“Painting can also help to prevent water damage and moisture problems from occurring. Caulking of areas such as around the windows, door frames and areas where the balcony tiles meets the wall can save a lot of headaches and stop water getting in. Filling loose bricks or large cracks and holes in the exterior of your home can also help stop mould and mildew issues,” he says.
8. Protect timber windows
Mouzomenos says timber windows that are left unpainted and exposed to harsh weather conditions for a long period of time will cause the timber to split, create moisture issues and lead to expensive repairs.
“It’s worth spending a little cash to winter-proof your home,” he suggests.
“As well as bringing the bills down, you will remove those unpleasant chills and draughts that run through the house and ensure you are cosy through winter.”