When summer hands in her notice, the sun starts to rise later and set earlier, and the evenings start to chill. It is also a cue to start preparing our homes for colder months, and in some regions wet weather.
A cared-for and well-loved home not only holds its financial value, it makes residents and guests feel welcome, safe and comfortable. Make good use of the last warm, dry days of summer and tackle the important outdoor maintenance tasks to keep your home looking good and functioning well.
This is about more than cleaning your fireplace chimney, servicing the air conditioner or getting your gas heaters filled. One of the most effective ways to save on heating costs is to ensure your home is well insulated. In addition to the more obvious ceiling insulation, making sure your windows and doors are well insulated is critical. In an uninsulated home, as much as 35% of the heat loss is via windows and doors.
Ensure that your windows and doors do not have any air leaks i.e. that they seal tightly when closed. This can be done by sealing any gaps around window and door frames with caulk or weather striping such as silicone rubber or foam tape.
For further insulation, install effective window coverings inside your window such as timber shutters. “Timber shutters have a natural warmth, and when the louvres are closed they help to keep the cool air from entering the room,” says Karina Palmer, interior designer and marketing director of AMERICAN shutters.
Installing shutters on the outside of windows and doors offers even better insulation as they help to protect the glass from cold conditions. “Aluminum security shutters serve multiple purposes; they assist to protect the home from forced entry, bad weather and they make the home look great,” says Karina “Installing our Security Shutters on patios or verandahs also creates an additional room that can be used well into autumn and winter.”
Check your roof to ensure it is watertight. Common causes of a leaking roof include; missing or broken tiles, poorly sealed flashing or vents, damage caused by debris or overgrown trees and backed-up gutters.
Clean rain gutters and downpipes of any debris. If gutters overflow, the water may be forced onto your roof or run down the exterior of your home, causing deterioration, decay and leaks.
Timber requires regular maintenance, so sealing all wood exposed to the outdoors, such as wooden window frames, wood doors, wooden decking and wood furniture will prevent it from rotting. Use a good sealer or paint on these trims, features and furnishings to ensure they look good next summer. If you see cracks, peeling or chipping in a previously applied coat, sand down and apply a fresh coat.
“Outdoor aluminum shutters are a perfect choice to protect wooden window frames and doors from wet cold weather,” says Karina. “Simply close the louvres of our adjustable louvre Security Shutters to prevent water from reaching the wood.”
So before you chill out, do what needs to be done to keep the chill out. Don’t leave these important home maintenance chores to the last minute, use the late afternoon sunlight after work and the warm weekend days while we still have them to start ticking off your check list.