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Householder checklist for winter

With snow forecast, it’s probably a last chance to get any work done on the outside of your home before winter really sets in. London is apparently due for a cold, damp winter.

It’s still possible for companies like ours to do some jobs outside, but not for too much longer. We made a list of some of the jobs that we’d really recommend.

1. If your home was cold last winter, take steps to change it. An insulation expert can identify and fix air leaks or inadequate insulation in the loft.

2. Check the roof for broken or missing tiles. Binoculars are a good tool and easier than getting up a ladder.  Also check and repair breaks in the flashing seals around chimneys. If you have a flat roof, rake or blow off fallen leaves and pine needles as these hold moisture, and clear the gutters.

3. If the gaps around window or door frames are bigger than the width of a penny they need to be protected with exterior caulk. Silicone caulk is best for exterior use because it won’t shrink. If your boiler hasn’t been serviced for more than a year, get it serviced.

4. Undrained water in pipes can freeze, causing pipes to burst as the ice expands. Disconnect all garden hoses and drain the water that remains in faucets. You may also be able to turn off internal valves which feed these outside taps.

5. You may be tempted to prune trees or shrubs after the leaves fall. Horticulturalists advise waiting until late winter for most plants, just before spring growth begins. However deadfall or limbs close to your home or power lines should be trimmed in case of heavy wind.

6. If you have a chimney make sure your fireplace, chimney and vents are clean and in good repair before burning wood in the grate. That will prevent chimney fires, and the risk of carbon monoxide creeping into your home.

7. Check the heating system, particularly heating vents, to make sure they’re not blocked or covered by furniture, carpeting, or curtains. Dust the vents and clean any filters. Outside, check that exhaust vents are not obstructed.

As a decorating company we’re happy to come and check if you think you might have a problem with exterior woodwork, and it’s still not too late. 

And of course, interior decoration is more than possible. Schedules up through the New Year do fill up though, so now is a good time to call us if you are looking at any interior work.

With best regards
Marlon Bulger
Production Director
Bulger Wicks

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