Autumn’s here – get ready for Winter now.

The mornings are starting to get darker, the heatings starting to come on – these are all sure signs that now is the time to act and complete those last few household maintenance chores before Autumn quickly becomes Winter.

Now is the time to attend to things like:

Roofs, gutters and drains – Visually inspect roofs for slipped or broken roof tiles, ridge tiles that are missing or appear loose due to loss of mortar and wobbly television aerials. Make good anything you find or call in a professional if you don’t have the right ladders and access equipment – NEVER TAKE RISKS!

Remove any branches or other debris that could blow about and cause more damage or worse, fall to the ground (via your conservatory roof).

Check guttering, drainpipes and drains for any debris – especially leaves – that can cause water to spill over or back up and enter your house’s interior causing more damage. This also includes checking roof sections which include a ‘gutter’ or gully between two adjoining sections of roof. Clean out any debris and compost or recycle.

Decking – if you get a dry day, it’s a great time to re-coat your wooden decking and protect it for the coming winter. Frost and snow can cause untreated decking to split and tarnish very easily. Some people swear by pressure washing the decking first in preparation and leaving it to dry off before applying a water sealant or other protective stain.

Garden – There’s probably time for one more cut of the lawn before you put the mower away for another year. A good tidy up around the garden will help your garden look trimmed and neat for the Winter ahead. Pay careful attention to the manufacturers instructions regarding storage of your lawn mower. Petrol models in particular sometimes have to be stored on a particular side to avoid oil running to the ‘wrong end’ of the engine. Clean off any grass from the underneath of the mower and make sure the grass collector is clean before storage.

Pipes – To avoid the misery and expense of burst pipes, now is the time to explore your loft and/or basement and attend to any pipe lagging that may have come loose or be missing. Not only will you save burst pipes, but you’ll also save energy by lagging the hot pipes as well. Make sure you use an appropriate lagging material – we don’t want any fires now. Checking and insulating your pipes also includes your outside water tap. You may still be using it to wash the car etc but don’t forget to turn it off at the stop valve inside the house/wall afterwards.

Heating system – if you haven’t had an annual inspection or service, the now is the time. As you start to use the heating system more following a long dormant period is usually when problems occur. Getting your heating system serviced will give you peace of mind for the coming Winter, when heating engineers are so busy you can wait weeks for someone to come out.

Real fires and solid fuel heaters

If you use your homes Chimney for a real fire, solid fuel heater or wood burner etc, then you might need to have your chimney swept. Call in a professional – it’s cleaner, quicker and a professional will usually be able to spot if your chimney needs any further maintenance. Remember, its vitally important that your fire or stove etc is properly ventilated.

Winter they say is a great time for interior decorating but make sure you do it on dry days when you can have the windows open for ventilation. Personally, I’ve had experience of emulsion paints ‘bubbling’ which I’d put down to the wall surface being so cold.

If you’ve been thinking about having a conservatory over the Summer but think you’ve missed your chance then think again. Although not a true seasonal home improvement, many homeowners are put off having a conservatory in the wet autumn months, under the miss-conception that the foundation work will be very messy.

Consequently, conservatory companies will be offering all sorts of offers and incentives to attract you, making it a very good time to get a conservatory built – and just in time for Christmas too.

Click here to get your own online conservatory quote now and see how much you could save.

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