As we head into another winter, it’s time to start preparing your home and garden for what the bad weather might bring. Let’s be honest, we know there is going to be a fair amount of wind and rain. In addition to battening down the hatches (or at least the garden furniture), you also need to look at protecting your home from the elements. One of the ways in which you can do this is to ensure that no water gets into your house. This includes making sure your roof is watertight and that your gutters are in good order. Here are our top tips for protecting your home this winter.
Stop the Gutters Freezing
Prevention is better than cure as they say and to ensure you don’t have to climb a ladder with hot water to melt any ice that has formed in your gutter, we have some top tips on stopping it forming in the first place.
But why stop the gutters from freezing? Well, that’s a good question. Ice means water and also indicates that water is pooling in your gutters. In addition to this, water expands when it freezes which means that you are placing the pipes under additional pressure and danger of warping and cracking. Ice dams can also form on the roof ultimately leading to water damage in your home.
Top Tips to Prevent Gutter Freezing
Make Sure they Are Properly Installed
Gutters should slope slightly to allow the water to run away from the roof area. If they are sloping as they should be rainwater can effectively drain away which means it can’t pool. No standing water means no ice! A visual inspection should indicate whether your gutters are properly installed or not. If you aren’t sure, ask an expert.
Clean the Gutters
Throughout autumn, the gutters get clogged with falling leaves from the trees above and around your property. You may also find the odd birds nest once the birds have fledged. This debris needs removing to prevent blockages. If the water is allowed to back up, it’s going to look for other ways out or freeze when the cold sets in. After all the leaves have fallen, it’s a good idea to carry out another check to ensure there are no blockages.
Melt the Ice with Salt
Salt, or sodium chloride is used to melt ice on paths, pavements and driveways. It can also be used in your gutters to help melt the ice.
Clear Snow From the Roof
When it snows, which granted isn’t very often, the snow can settle on the roof and in the gutters. It can also fall from the roof into the gutters. If you do find falling snow has settled on your roof, it’s advisable to clear it using a roof rake for example. The heavy snow can cause damage to your gutters and pipework.
As part of protecting your home this winter, it may time to face the fact that your gutters, fascias and soffits need replacing. While it will cost money to replace, it will be a much better investment that having to repair damage caused by water.
Flat Roof Inspection
Now that the gutters are taken care of, let’s turn our attention to your flat roof. If you have a flat roof, now is the time to have it inspected. If you have recently had an EDPM roof installed on your garage, extension, dormer or conservatory then you will be enjoying the benefits and satisfaction of a long guarantee and won’t have any concerns however if you haven’t then it may be time to invest in a new flat roof.
Older types of flat roof solutions such as fibreglass and felt are prone to damage and wear and tear from the elements. Felt roofs especially can crack and warp. Alternatively you may have a polycarbonate conservatory roof which provides absolutely no insulation making the room unusable in winter. A flat roof solution, with a roof light, is a great solution for turning the room into one that can be used all year round. It will also stop the noise that the main makes as it hits the roof.
A visual inspection of your roof will tell you if there are any obvious issues that need addressing however, it may be a good idea to call in the experts for a roof survey. It’s a lot better to deal with any issues before they occur rather than retrospectively.
With the cold weather comes a noticeable drop in temperature in the home. In addition to a new flat roof solution in areas such as the conservatory, exterior PVC-UE cladding to replace any existing cladding can also add effective insultation to your home. The older wooden cladding doesn’t have anywhere near the level of insulation that the modern solutions provide. They will also make your home look more inviting and give it more kerb appeal. An excellent investment in the long term.
If you would like help and advice about any elements of your home insulation, guttering, fascias and soffits, cladding or flat roof then please do get in touch with the team who will be happy to help with protecting your home this winter. Simply call us on 01934 824005 for free and friendly help and advice.