Hello Autumn

With the summer almost coming to an end, September is a good time to tackle a few simple chores that’ll make the winter more pleasant and hopefully prevent any nasty surprises.

We all know the weather can change quickly so a bit of attention now could save you time, money and aggravation later on! Here are some ideas to help you get ready for the autumn.

1. Check for drafts

Feel for drafts around the edges of windows and doors. If necessary, replace seals and repair caulking around window and doorframes. Consider buying heavier or insulated drapery for drafty windows. If you stop the heat escaping, you could save on those heating bills (see “How Do I Reduce My Heating Bill?” for further information).

2. Check your heating system, fireplace and chimney

It is a good idea to get things checked BEFORE the cold sets in. Give the fireplace or wood burner the once over, look inside the flue and have the chimney swept by a professional. Switch on the heating system, bleed the radiators and consider installing a programmable thermostat if you don’t already have one. If you need to call in a professional consider scheduling this task early, before the heating season begins.

3. Keep things safe

Replace batteries in all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide devices, test to make sure they’re working properly.

4. Do a roof check

You should be able to do a visual inspection of the roof from the ground, if not grab some binoculars. Look for missing shingles or fascia’s, broken or loose tiles and slates or any damage around vents or chimneys.

5. Clean and clear the gutters

If you’ve got the ladder out to check your roof, take the time to clear the gutters from leaves, debris, and nests and also check for leaks. Your roofs drainage system is responsible for diverting thousands of gallons of water from the exterior of your house and foundation walls.

6. Clean the drains

Clear all leaves and debris on open gullies and silt traps to ensure rainwater is adequately discharged away from the property. Maintain the foul drainage system with a jet wash to remove sediment and avoid the risk of blocked drainage (which will no doubt occur just before you sit down for your Christmas dinner)!

7. Stow the hose

Remove garden hoses or sprinklers from outdoor taps. Turn off any shutoff valves to avoid minor leaks.

8. Clean it up

Have a general clean up outside. Prune the plants, put away any seasonal furniture, remove and clean cushions and store in a dry place over the winter. Organise the shed or garage, put the summer items to the back and winter stuff up front for better access.

The information in this Coffee Break article is intended for guidance only. The authors cannot accept any liability for any loss or damage which may result from the use of this article.