4 simple steps to getting your home winter ready
Follow these easy steps to prepare (and protect) your home from the soon-to-be chilly weather
We are getting closer and closer to another South African winter. The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting colder and it’s getting harder and harder to wake up in the morning for work (am I right?).
Now, you might be thinking “but South African winters aren’t that bad” and “what do I really need to prepare for?”
The thing is…
South African winters, although mild compared to the more northern area of the globe, they can still cause issues such as frozen pipes and frozen nights.
We might not get snow, but we certainly do have some frosty mornings (and nights), very low temperatures and chilly days coming our way...
Winter is not just about getting ready for the cold weather, it’s about preparing your home for potential damage that might take place because of it.
Here’s what you need to do:
1. Protect your pipes from the cold
There are some important steps you can take in getting your pipes winter ready and protecting them from those frost-bitten cold fronts.
When it gets cold, the water inside your pipes will freeze and expand, creating extreme pressure. The ice will eventually cause the pipe to crack.
The simplest way to protect them is by using heat tape (using thermostatically controlled heat cables) or placing wrapping on the pipes that might be an issue (exposed to the cold).
Heat tape helps to insulate the pipe and keep it at an optimal temperature.
Heat tape is more of a kit than just one product, but it is pretty easy to install. You need to make sure you have a grounded electrical outlet for the power.
Chat to a plumber and ask if they can install this for you.
2. Seal any cracks and plug leaks
To prevent any heat loss, make sure your doors and windows are sealed properly. Check windows for drafts and seal these with a form of window sealant and plug any holes.
Check your roof for any openings and cracks and get these fixed and sealed.
Remember that places for heat to be released from your home will only raise your electricity bill if you are using heaters in your home.
Head’s up - silicone is a great form of sealant for any leaks in windows and around door frames.
3. Make sure your chimney has been maintained
If you have a fireplace (which can help you save a whole bunch in electricity during winter), then you need to do some basic chimney maintenance.
Your chimney will need to be cleared and cleaned of anything that might block the smoke from leaving your home.
Your chimney should also be checked for damages or leaks to ensure it has proper airflow.
4. Don’t forget about your plants!
Winter can cause some serious damage to your plants, so it’s a good idea that you keep them protected from the extreme cold.
To keep your plants protected, do not water them too late in the day (this also goes for indoor plants) as this can lead to the water freezing in the soil and killing your plant.
To protect your plants from frost, then you can use plastic sheets or other forms of insulation to protect them overnight. A plastic bucket works great for little plants!
Taking the time to get your home winter ready will not only have you feeling all warm and cosy but your home too. By making these little adjustments, you can improve the heat inside of your home, your experience of winter and protect your home from any potential damage.
Of course, there is only so much planning a person can do for the expected things in life, but make sure you are also covered for the unexpected, make sure you have household insurance, and better yet, household insurance that lets you choose how much cover you want at the price you can afford.
Yours in hassle-free household insurance,