Get Your Home Prepped For Winter
Don’t panic – we still have plenty of warm days ahead and there’s no need to pack away the outdoor furniture just yet. But now is a good time to start thinking about how we can best tend to our homes so that when winter does arrive, we can simply put our feet up and relax.
Insulate from the floor up
Floors are an essential part of a house, but they aren’t all created equal. When it comes to the best type of flooring to keep your home snug all winter long, you can’t go past wool carpet (and they’re great for summer too!).
“The natural thermal properties of wool fibres trap warm air, creating a natural insulation barrier, which makes for more comfortable living all year around,” says Gary Walker, the owner of Flooring First Taupo.
“This thermal comfort can also translate into energy savings, with wool carpets saving you on heating and cooling costs.”
Wool carpets have the ability to soak up excess moisture in high humidity and release moisture in dry environments, they are hypoallergenic, and also have natural inbuilt fire retardants.
The last thing you want is to share your home with unwanted guests. The cooler months are the perfect time for rats, mice, ants and other pests to relocate inside in search of better conditions – like food, warmth and shelter. Casey Greig from Lakeview Pest Control warns that not only are they annoying, they risk damaging our homes too.
“The gnawing habits of rodents can cause damage to plumbing, gas pipes and electrical wiring and they have been found to be the cause of some house fires.”
Casey’s handy hints to try to keep them at bay include:
• Clean up around the yard and throw away rubbish heaps
• Remove overgrown weeds and surplus building supplies
• Stack wood piles away from the home
• Eliminate unnecessary water sources
• Store rubbish in sealed bins But of course, if all else fails, it’s
best to call in the professionals to effectively and safely treat your pest problem.
Declutter the gutter
It may not be an enjoyable job, but cleaning out your gutters is an important one. When debris, leaves and mould build up and are not cleared on a regular basis, there’s a risk of gutters and downpipes getting blocked, which Tony Loughlin, from gutter cleaning experts Gutter Rats, says could spell disaster for your home.
“If water regresses through your walls, this can cause substantial damage. Even if you have a relatively new house, it still pays to keep on top of it.”
Loughlin also says to be extra careful if taking care of the task yourself, as it can be time consuming, steep roofs and high buildings can be dangerous and it could cause damage to your roof.
From heat pumps to cosy blankets, there’s plenty of quick fixes to beat the cold. But for a far more sustainable and effective approach to keep your home warm and dry, it’s worth considering how damp, cold air gets in, and more importantly – how to keep it out.
Colin Thompson from Rotorua Aluminium Joinery says that over time, seals in older joinery can break down, handles get loose and window stays get worn, all which allow cold air to come in – contributing to the buildup of condensation.
There’s no doubt double glazing is the way to go, to keep your house cooler in summer and warmer in winter, and Colin also mentions it’s great for sound insulation too. Having modern joinery in your home is essential for ensuring you aren’t wasting money on heating your home for it to only leak out doors and windows that don’t seal properly.
Minimise moist air
In winter we tend to open our windows less, but in spaces like the bathroom, letting warm, moist air build up is a recipe for condensation, mildew and mould.
The solution? A Showerdome®. The clear, acrylic dome comes in 13 different sizes and attaches to the top of the shower cubicle to prevent steam forming in the bathroom.