Quick jobs to protect your home from winter weather

Now is the time to clear your gutters to avoid backed-up water entering the roof cavity.
Now is the time to clear your gutters to avoid backed-up water entering the roof cavity.

Before you retreat inside to wait out the cold weather, take some time to check your house's exterior is ready to face the cold (and hopefully, wet) weather.

Here are a few quick jobs:

Clear your drains and gutters: Blockages can cause water to back up and overflow into your roof. If you have lots of deciduous trees around your place and have been clearing gutters every week in autumn, perhaps now is the time to think about gutter guards to keep leaves out of the gutters next year. While you're up there, check your roof for any cracks or damage.

Clean metal surfaces: If you can see spots of rust forming, fix it now before it takes hold. Products such as Hammerite Direct to Rust Metal Paint is a primer, undercoat and top coat all in one. Simply remove any loose or flaking rust and paint with a wire brush or coarse sandpaper, wash with water or a very mild detergent mix to remove any remaining grease and dirt and rinse, then once it's dry you can paint.

Protect timber surfaces: Fill any cracks in your timber now. Use something like Sikkens Cetol Gupa, which is a fast-drying filler and stopper for nail holes and wood cracks; applying this will ensure that dry rot will not cause further damage.

When it's in good condition, paint will help prevent water damage and moisture damage

When it's in good condition, paint will help prevent water damage and moisture damage

Also check for any gaps around windows and doorframes. Seal these up not only to prevent cold air and water coming in, but also to stop warm air escaping.

It is also worthwhile inspecting the paint work on the exterior of your home. When it's in good condition, paint will help prevent water damage and moisture damage.

It's also a good idea to coat the deck for protection against mould and rot. Sikkens Cetol BLX-Pro is a microporous, water-based finish that allows timber to breathe and repels unwanted moisture. It can be applied to decking, window frames, fences and any other external wooden surfaces.

Check for mould: With limited fresh air entering the home for the next few months, mould and rising damp could pose a problem. Check inside wardrobes and the bathroom ceiling, and address any areas you see., which might mean you need to enagage a ventilation expert. Worst case is, if the mould gets into gyprock, you might have to replace the ceiling or walls.

It's worth spending a bit of time and money now to prevent small problems getting worse. The last thing you want in spring is a big repair bill.