As the temperature starts to drop and the nights draw in, it’s time to check your home is ready and safe for the winter. An hour or two spent now on a few simple jobs could save you pounds in expensive repairs or prevent a painful slip or fall.
Draughts in your park home can be unpleasant and annoying but are usually part of your park home ventilating as it should. Tempting as it may be to cover up some of your vents, your home really does need to breathe to prevent condensation and mould forming.
Your vents, in their many locations, encourage fresh air to flow through your home, circulating out moist, damp air to the outside.
If your home has a large vent in the living room, it is usually there for gas safety so it is particularly important that this vent is left fully open. Ideally you should never cover up any vents. A well-insulated home that is properly vented will keep you warm and cosy and allow your home to breathe.
You could contact a reputable insulation installer to check your vents and insulation for you and offer you suggestions if your home feels colder than you’d like it to be. External Wall Insulation and Underfloor Insulation will keep your home warmer and stop draughts.
If you’ve noticed gaps and draughts around your windows or doors and do not want the expense of replacing them, run draught stripping around. The rubber seal harden over time and become less effective so replace it if it is hard and cracked. It is fine to put another layer of excluding strip over the top of existing seals. Just wipe down the surfaces and let them dry thoroughly before applying.
If you don’t have a regular window cleaner, it’s always a good idea to have a good yearly clean before the weather turns too cold. Clean your plastics: UPVC, windows, doors and external sills to prevent staining from dirt and algae. Once staining sets in it is very difficult to remove.
If the weather permits and your home is a little dirty a spray over the walls with Spear and Jackson Spray and Leave (or similar) will clean and remove algae stains. It’s easy to apply, just fill a spray bottle to the manufacturers recommendations, pump and spray the walls. You don’t need to scrub or even rinse off.
Sweep up any accumulating leaves and treat paths, decks, patio and steps with a good quality outdoor cleaning solution that kills the algae that causes slippery pathways. Follow manufacturer’s instructions carefully and your paths will be slippy when they are wet as the product works.
Fix those drips! Unblock and fix gutters, downpipes, drains and dripping taps. You don’t want drips and puddles on your pathways that may freeze and become slip hazards. Blocked guttering can cause the ply on your home to rot if water is left to drip constantly down your home so fixing guttering now can save you pounds later on.
Invest in a bag of salt to sprinkle on icy steps. A large bag often costs under a pound and can be a quick and easy fix to a slippery step, just make sure you keep it indoors so it is there when you really need it. Remember though that what has melted may refreeze later so take care and reapply as necessary.
Insulate your outside tap to prevent your pipes freezing. You can buy a tap insulator or wrap it up with some polystyrene for a less glamorous solution.
Check your handrails if you have them. You want your handrail to be reliable when you need it and a loose or rotting rail can easily deterirate over winter if left. If your handrail is loose get a handyman to check it and repair and replace as needed.