Winter is now just around the corner, which means that now is an excellent time to start preparing for this time of year. Winter can be a lovely season, and it is particularly special around Christmas, but it can also be one of the most challenging, uncomfortable and even unsafe seasons if you are not careful. The harsh conditions that arrive at this time of the year can create a host of issues to deal with so it is important that you are well-prepared and know how to stay safe so that you can enjoy everything that is so special about this season.
First, you need to make sure that you have suitable clothing for the winter months so that you can stay warm, dry, and comfortable throughout the season. The essential items to invest in for winter are:
- Sturdy boots
- A waterproof jacket
- A large winter coat
The biggest concern that people have when winter arrives is driving because the conditions can make this much more dangerous. There are many more accidents and breakdowns in winter compared to the rest of the year, which means that you need to be careful and only drive when necessary.
- Car Maintenance: It is a good idea to get the vehicle serviced when the weather starts to turn to make sure that it is in good working condition. You then need to carry out maintenance tasks like topping up the tire pressure, replacing the oil and changing the windscreen wipers.
- Keeping the car running: Although you should avoid driving when the conditions are poor, you shouldn’t let the car sit idle for too long, so it is worth taking it round the block or changing its parking position if it has been left for a few days and the temperature has dropped. You should also keep the vehicle parked under cover or purchase a cover for the car to protect it from the elements and falling debris.
- Emergency kit: It is a smart idea to have an emergency kit in the car in case you have an accident or if the vehicle breaks down. This needs to include items like a flashlight, first-aid kit, high-visibility jacket, phone charger, food and water, blankets and a spare change of clothes.
- Driving in hazardous conditions: If you do have to drive when the conditions are hazardous, you must be careful. You need to maintain a sensible speed, keep your distance from vehicles ahead, avoid sharp turns and gently accelerate and brake.
The weather can also take its toll on your property, so you need to know how to maintain your home during winter so that it remains a warm, comfortable, and safe refuge.
- Roof & gutters: Check the roof for any signs of damage and call out an experienced roofer if there is any work that needs doing. You also need to get up on a ladder and clean your gutters out, which can become filled with debris after autumn.
- Boiler: You will be relying heavily on your boiler during winter so you should get this serviced before the weather turns so that you know that it will work as it should throughout the coldest months of the year.
- Pipes: Pipes can often burst or leak during this time of the year, so you need to know how to shut off the main water valve. You will also need the number of a good plumber who you can call out in an emergency. You can go online and search for “plumbing companies near me” if you have not got one already.
- Chimney: If you are fortunate enough to have a fireplace, then you should always hire a chimney sweep before starting a fire. This is to avoid carbon monoxide coming back into the home and to make sure that the chimney works as it should.
- Insulation: Insulation is important because it can help to keep the warmth inside the house and the cold out. In addition to making the property a comfortable temperature, this is also a great way to reduce your energy bills, which can be much higher during winter.
- Drafts: Drafts are frustrating because they can let the cold in even if you have insulation. You need to find these drafts and fix them so that you can keep the cold out and maintain a comfortable temperature inside the home.
Winter can be a tricky time of year as the weather and conditions can interfere with your daily life. These are the main areas that you will need to consider so that you can enjoy all the positives that this season can bring.