Top care tips for your home this winter
Top care tips for your home this winter
You might be wondering why we as estate agents are giving you care tips for your home this winter? Well, we consider taking good care of your home important. Especially if one day you will be selling it or letting it out. And at this time of year, with the cold weather upon us and Christmas celebrations in full swing, our homes can be susceptible to damage. So, with that in mind, here are our top care tips for your home this winter.
We start with Christmas trees, and to be more concise, real Christmas trees. Yes, picking the tree, decorating it, and having a family photo in front of it are all lovely things to do. But how can you make sure your 8ft Nordic spruce isn’t going to leave lasting damage to your floor or carpet?
While they smell divine and look stunning, we must remember that real Christmas trees are real plants, and they need regular watering. When watering your tree, take care not to overfill the pot and spill water. In the case of spillages, make sure to mop up the excess immediately.
Ideally, you should place your Christmas tree stand on a robust plastic mat to provide a barrier between your floor and the tree stand.
It is also important to vacuum or brush up any fallen needles from the tree, regularly. These can become stuck in the grooves of your floor, even underneath skirting boards. And depending on the type of tree you have, be aware that the needles can scratch the floor. In fact, if you water your tree regularly and correctly, you can help prevent excess needle drop.
You might also find tree sap on your floor or furnishings from your Christmas tree. If you do find any sap, then use a damp cloth with a little mild detergent to wipe it away.
Ideally, you should choose a tree to suit the flooring you have. Some trees have softer needles, some have better needle retention. Always ask before you buy your tree, of its variety and its suitability for the floor you have.
Family and friends gatherings
Christmas and New Year is a time for getting together with family and friends. And if you are hosting a party, that can mean a lot of people descending on your home all at the same time. If you have hard floors, you want to protect them as best you can from any potential glass or crockery breakages. It pays to place a temporary rug or runner beneath or alongside surfaces where food or drinks are served. That way if anything is knocked over or dropped, the damage doesn’t extend to a hole, dent, or chip in the floor.
And always have plenty of cloths, old rags and suitable cleaning sprays to hand so that you can mop, blot and tend to any stains quickly.
You are also well within your rights to lay down some rules when people are visiting your home. If you have wood floors, you might ask for people to take off pointy high heels before entering. And in the case of expensive carpets, you might operate a ban on food or drink being consumed in these rooms. Once the alcohol gets flowing, a good night can soon become a costly one if care isn’t taken.
Hot in the kitchen
We all know how expensive it is to put the heating on these days. But when rooms are left cold, our everyday living can create problems with condensation. Take for example the heat produced from cooking in the kitchen or showering in the bathroom. The steam produced from these activities is loaded with moisture and can cause condensation in colder areas of the home. This in turn can lead to damp and mould growth, which is not only unsightly, but brings health risks.
There are lots of small things you can do during the winter months to cope with limiting condensation. The first is to keep doors closed in rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms when cooking or showering. And within these rooms, make sure you use any extraction fans.
As cold as it might be outside, opening a window a fraction will make a huge difference too. Thise will help the steam and excess moisture to escape. Keeping a lid on saucepans when boiling or cooking at a high heat on the hob is also beneficial. As does keeping your home to a consistent warm temperature, one of the care tips for your home which is easily overlooked.
Don’t forget the heating
Maybe you are going away over the winter period. Even if it is only for a night or two, then remember to set your heating to come on at least twice a day. This needs only to be on low for half an hour to an hour each morning and evening. It’s understandable that with the cost of gas and electricity as it is, it might be more tempting to risk leaving your heating turned off while you are away. But you never know if or when outside temperatures may plummet. The danger of leaving your heating off in extremely cold temperatures is that your pipes can freeze over, making them susceptible to bursting.
Even if you are staying at home in the winter months, heating your home is important not just for your own comfort. Aim to keep your property’s temperature consistent. By not allowing it to become too cold, will protect your property from the effects of damp and condensation. The government advises that a property should have an average temperature of 18° in living areas and bedrooms.
Decorations and lights
From outside lights to candles, how we decorate our homes in the winter requires extra care and attention. If you are plugging in multiple sets of lights over the festive period, make sure you are not overloading one socket. And if you are burning candles in, check they are fully and properly extinguished before leaving any rooms they are in.
Check the condition of your lights and light fittings before using them too! Many of us have decorations which go back years. If there is any sign of damaged cables or plugs, then err on the side of caution and use a new set. LED lights are seen as safer to use as they are lower voltage.
And you should always turn off any Christmas lights inside your property before leaving the house. The same for when you go to bed. If anything, it will help your electricity bill by doing so!
And at this time of year, be careful where you buy electrical gifts from. It might be tempting to buy a cheaper make or model of something. But, can you be sure of where it is from? Some items imported into the UK do not meet our stringent national safety standards. And be careful with batteries and chargers too. Unbranded versions of these can cause also cause potentially significant damage to your property.
The winter months are an expensive time for property owners, even before any accidents. It really does pay to plan for the winter and the colder temperatures. Likewise it’s important to be sensible with Christmas festivities. From how you decorate to what you buy, accidents can be a costly nightmare at this time of year.
And if you are thinking about selling your home in the New Year, or even renting it out, then you will want it in tip-top condition ready for your property valuations. Any significant damage can impact your home’s value. That or you will need to fork out a lot to get a tradesman in to fix the damage before you pursue your property plans.
We hope you find our care tips for your home this winter, useful. As local Altrincham estate agents, we know the importance of keeping a property in as good condition as possible.
If you have plans to sell your home in 2024, then contact us for an initial discussion and to book in a valuation. Or if letting your home is something you are considering, we can give you the advice and information you need. Call us on 0161 941 4445 or send us a message here.