The winter months aren’t just tough on us mentally, with all that rain, cold, wind and the occasional outbreak of snow, our houses can take a bit of a battering. Whilst they’re certainly built sturdily enough for us not to worry about them falling down, the stresses and strains dished out by the elements over the years can take their toll.
As the wintry weather fades away and we start to the see the sunshine again, it’s the perfect time to spend a weekend getting up to speed with these home maintenance tasks. We’ve rounded up a short checklist of some of the most important things to consider and hopefully these small checks will ensure there are no nasty, expensive surprises.
Clean the cooker hood and filter
Your cooker hood will do a good job of removing moisture and smells from the kitchen, but after a while they can get greasy. It’s important give it a wipe down with some kitchen cleaner and to replace the filters to ensure it’s working efficiently.
Clean the oven
One of our least favourite jobs around the house, especially if it’s been left too long and food debris has built up. You can use a combination of bicarb and white vinegar or a specialist oven cleaner to break down the debris and grease, but always check the manufacturers instruction book beforehand. Once done, try to clean it more regularly to avoid a time-consuming job every time you come to do it. To make life easier, a number of our ovens include hydro-easy-clean or pyrolytic integrated cleaning systems – explore our oven range here.
Check the loft for roof tiles or water leaks
Take a look in the loft for any evidence of roof tiles, holes, leaks or pests. Discovering a problem early can seriously reduce any potential costs and damage. Give your loft a tidy if whilst you’re there if you’re storing items.
Clean out the garage
If you’ve got a garage, it’s easy to fall into the trap of using it as a dumping ground for those items you don’t know what to do with or you haven’t got round to throwing out yet. You may even find some items worth selling or that you’d forgotten about.
To stay on the safe side, this may require hiring a professional to check for you and to clean out any moss or leaves.
Check exterior paintwork
Take a look at any exterior paintwork. If it’s showing signs of wear – any blistering or flaking – it might be time to hire someone to tidy up the paintwork.
Clear leaves, soil and debris
Get out in the garden to clear any debris from the bases of walls to help prevent damp occurring.
Check external brickwork
Check for cracks and the condition of the brickwork. Repointing is best done in dry weather so spring is the perfect time to ensure your walls are in tip-top condition.
Take a look at the garden for winter damage
Frost, wind and heavy rain can cause issues in the garden – use the warmer weather to get out and check larger trees, shrubs, fence panelling and brickwork for any signs of damage.
Prune large trees and shrubs
It’s unlikely you will have spent the winter tending to shrubbery and trees so the springtime is your opportunity to tidy up.
Brush down gates and railings and repaint
A spot of repainting or varnishing could be required if fixtures such as gates, railings and wood panelling are showing signs of weathering.
Pull furniture away from walls
Pull out large pieces of furniture so you can dust and vacuum. You should also check for damp and mould, which can sometimes build up as a result of the fluctuations between cold and warm temperatures when you’re using the heating throughout the winter.
Open all your windows
Whilst you’re pulling out the furniture and vacuuming, give your home a good air. During the winter we inevitably end up blocking ventilation and draughts to keep out the cold air, but this makes the air stale and increases moisture, therefore making mould more likely to form.
After a weekend of house maintenance, you’ll really appreciate the benefits of a lightweight cordless vacuum to leave your home in pristine condition. The H-Free cordless vacuum cleaner is great for getting every kind of surface clean, underneath furniture and above doors. It comes with a wall-mount so that you can store it neatly along with its tools – ready to grab and blitz away any dust instantly.