Before you retreat inside to wait out winter, take some time to check your home's exterior and other nooks and crannies are ready to face the cold (and hopefully, wet) weather.
Clear your drains and gutters
Blockages can cause water to back up and overflow into your roof. If you have lots of deciduous trees around your place and have been clearing gutters every week in autumn, perhaps now is the time to think about gutter guards to keep leaves out of the gutters next year. While you're up there, check your roof for any cracks.
If you have lots of deciduous trees around your place and have been clearing gutters every week in autumn, perhaps now is the time to think about gutter guards to keep leaves out of the gutters next year.
Clean metal surfaces
If you can see spots of rust forming, fix it now before it takes hold. Simply remove any loose or flaking rust and paint with a wire brush or coarse sandpaper, wash with water or a very mild detergent mix to remove any remaining grease and dirt, then rinse and once it's dry you can paint.
Protect timber surfaces
Fill any cracks in your timber now and check for any gaps around windows and door frames. Seal these up not only to prevent cold air and water coming in, but also to stop warm air escaping.
It is also worthwhile inspecting the paint work on the exterior of your home. When it's in good condition, paint will help prevent water damage and moisture damage. Now is the time to coat the deck for protection against mould and rot.
Check for mould
With limited fresh air entering the home for the next few months, mould and rising damp could pose a problem. Check inside wardrobes and the bathroom ceiling, and address any areas you see, which might mean you need to engage a ventilation expert.
Worst case is, if the mould gets into the plasterboard, you might have to replace the ceiling or walls. It's worth spending a bit of time and money now to prevent small problems getting worse and a big repair bill in spring.
Weather seal your home
Places to target are the jambs, faces or edges of doors and windows. You can get seals to eliminating draughts, dust, rain, light and sound, and you can also use a gap filler around door architraves and along skirting boards.
Alternatively, you can go all out and install the right windows, doors and furnishings.
You can buy doors which incorporate sealed frames, however if your budget doesn't extend to replacing doors and windows, then look at your window furnishings such as curtains and shutters.
As well as preventing heat from escaping, insulating window coverings can help regulate the warmer temperatures of the day.