As you dig out the winter throws, turn up the thermostat and batten down the hatches for the colder months, don't forget to make these quick checks around your home to ensure a hassle–free winter.
How to fix leaks around windows
- Light a candle close to your window frames.
- If it flickers you might have a draft.
- Clean the window area so it’s free of dust and old paint.
- Patch it up by applying caulk around the window trim and between the trim and frame.
How to bleed your radiator
- Radiator not heating up properly? Look for a small valve at the top of your radiator.
- Depending on your valve type, use a radiator key, flat screwdriver or 12-point socket (most DIY and hardware stores will have one of these) and slowly turn the valve counter clockwise until water starts dripping out.
- This will release trapped air and let hot water into the cold fins.
- Bleeding your radiator will lower the water pressure. So slowly add water by opening, then closing the valve on the water pipe above the boiler.
How to protect exposed water pipes from freezing
- Buy some easy to use tubular-sleeve insulation from your hardware store.
- Cut the sleeve to the length of the pipe you want to protect.
- Wrap it around the pipe.
- If you need more than one sleeve to cover a long pipe, make sure to duct tape the seam.
Reverse your ceiling fan
Reversing your ceiling fan can help warm up your house. Flip the switch on your ceiling fan to rotate clockwise in winter. This will make the warm air circulate downwards, helping you reduce energy costs and maximise the heat in your room.
How to check your gutters
- Avoid overflow and check your gutters are pitched evenly by holding a level even with the gutter.
- Properly pitched gutters slope between 160mm and 320mm per foot, directing water to the downspout.
- For longer gutters, pour water from a flowing hose and check which direction it runs.
How to patch up a gutter hole
- Buy a tube of roofing cement and a metal-repair patch. Make sure that the patch matches the gutter material.
- Clean all debris with a plastic scoop or putty knife.
- Scrub the area with a hard bristle wire brush.
- Apply a liberal amount of roofing cement with a caulking gun, spreading it a few centimetres beyond the hole and apply the patch.
How to thaw frozen water pipes
- First check that the frozen area of the pipe isn’t split or damaged. This could cause flooding when thawed. If it is, call a plumber.
- If the pipe is intact, use a hair dryer or electric heater to heat the area around the frozen part.
- Be careful when using these devices and never leave them unattended.
- Continue until your pipe has thawed.
Thanks to Dickies Store for the tips
- For more handy advice, pick up the latest copy of Yours