There’s something magical about decorating your house for fall and winter. But before all the sparly Christmassy decorations begin, make sure your house is properly ready to face the colder months and these 7 issues that cold weather brings.

  • There are certain issues that your home may experience like mould growth, as rooms are usually closed and steam from showers, cooking or washing up have no ventilation. You can avoid this with a habit so simple as leaving a window open while you do these activities.
  • Another common issue is dirty, icy door locks. This usually happens because dirt and even oil from fingers can build up over time and freeze inside of the locking system. Now, I don’t know about you but the last thing I want on a -literally freezing day is stayed locked out of my own home. In that case you should either remove the lock and screws to get inside the mechanisms for cleaning or replace old home locks before winter altogether and keep them clean from day one.
  • Peeling paint seems to always increase during fall/winter. This is due to lack of proper insulation, moisture barriers and/or insufficient ventilation.
Image source: Mariana Kurnyk

As you can tell, ventilation is crucial for these months, even though it’s cold outside, leave a window open in a room you’re not using at the moment. For example, in the mornings, after I’ve showered, put cozy clothes on and tidied up my bed, I open the bedroom window for ventilation until past lunchtime. Then I close it again to make sure the room it’s warmed up for the evening.

My living room door it’s always slightly opened so that my cat can come and go to the garden as he pleases. After cooking and having dinner, it’s great to open the kitchen door or window for at least an hour so that the food smell goes away.

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  • If you live in a snow-prone area, be aware that heavy snow could cause damage to your roof and landscaping outside. To avoid ice dams that lead to roof leaks and icicles that put stress on your roof, remove them immediately and fix damaged shingles as soon as the weather allows. If ice dams do form, clear out your gutters by applying a de-icing agent or string a heated gutter cable.
  • Melted snow can leak into basements and cause flooding issues. You should check your sump pump to ensure it’s working correctly and clear drain clogs, especially before a snowstorm. Be sure to winterize your sump pump properly, and remove that extension hose when the temperature dips below freezing.
  • Boiler breakdowns is one of the top three home issues during winter in the UK. In this case the best thing to do is calling a specialist instead of trying to fix it yourself as it can be quite dangerous for the property and the people living in it.
  • When pipes are exposed to freezing temperatures, the water inside freezes, resulting in them bursting. To avoid this recommends insulating the exposed pipes with heat tape or foam pipe insulation. As well, you should open cabinet doors under your sinks to help warm air circulate around the pipes, and turn on your faucet to a slow drip to keep water flowing (only if really necessary as we should all be saving water!).
A house on Woodhaven Street in Mattapan with lots of excessive snow and ice on the roof. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Image source: Jesse Costa/WBUR

My suggestion? As you’re taking the Halloween decorations down in two weeks, it’s worth to check, update, fix and prepare your home for the coldest months.



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