Your wet weather checklist

Autumn might be the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, but it’s also the season of rain, cold, and dark evenings. While it’s the perfect time of year to snuggle up with soups and stews and critically-acclaimed box sets, it’s also a time of high stress for your home. Wet and cold weather risks causing lasting damage to your property, so with October upon us, now is the time to get things sorted. We’ve laid out eight things you should check before you hide under a blanket this autumn.

Boiler

If you haven’t turned your heating on yet this autumn, try it out - turn on the heating and let it run for 30 minutes, and check all the radiators are heating up as they should - if not, they may need bleeding. Listen for any unusual noises in your boiler or signs of low pressure. If there are any signs that it’s not running as it should, find a gas engineer to give it its annual check-up.

Roof

It can be hard to inspect your own roof for issues from ground level, but it’s worth trying to see if you can spot any loose or missing tiles. You can also go into your attic to check for any light coming in or drafts, or if you have a finished loft, looking for any signs of damp on the paintwork. A roofer will be able to take a better look and fix any problems.

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Gutters

One thing rain is good for is checking your gutters - take a look when it’s raining to make sure water is flowing freely out of your downpipes and isn’t coming over the edges of your gutters. If you spot a problem, there’s a good chance your gutter may be blocked. You can clear this yourself though you need to take care when using ladders, and watch out for rodent or bird droppings in the blockages. A gutter specialist will also be able to inspect your gutters, and make any repairs that might be needed.

Windows

If condensation is forming between the panes of glass on your double glazing, it’s a clear sign that the seal has failed and the window will be far less effective at keeping in heat and keeping out the cold. A window fitter should be able to replace individual sections as needed.

Insulation

If you run your heating and but notice that spots of your home still feel cold, it could be an indication that you’ll benefit from better insulation. Loft insulation is a relatively cheap way to help seal heat into your rooms upstairs, while cavity wall insulation can help improve your whole home’s energy efficiency. Speak to an insulation expert to see what would work for you.

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Chimneys and fireplaces

Many people dream of having a real open fireplace or a wood-burning stove, but can require a lot of effort to keep running at their best. They need to be well maintained to make sure they’re safe and effective, and if you haven’t used yours for months, then you should make sure yours is ready to go. A chimney expert will make sure your flue is fine and dandy.

Trees and fences

Blustery weather can wreak havoc on our gardens, taking down branches and uprooting fence posts. If the weather is good enough to get out into the garden, take a look at your trees and fences and see if anything is loose or at risk of coming down. A tree surgeon or fencer will be able to get rid of anything overgrown branches needs removing, or can replace or shore up any loose fence panels.

Pipes

It’s not freezing yet, but it doesn’t take much of a swing in the weather to send the mercury dropping. If you have any external pipes, they run the risk of freezing in the cold, which can lead to burst pipes and leaks. A plumber can make sure all your pipes are appropriately insulated and safeguarded against the cold.

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