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Preparing your home for winter

For most homeowners there is some element of preparation before the cool winter months set in. 

This is especially true for those in the Western Cape area, as winter brings not just the lower temperatures, but almighty cold fronts and rain, making preparation even more vital. “It is imperative that homeowners do a thorough inspection of their homes before the rains come,” says False Bay Services roofing and waterproofing specialist, Ray Holloway. “Many homeowners wait until it is too late and the rains have arrived, however this is could create a far more serious problem that will requires urgent attention at a later stage. In most cases, prevention is better, and more financially beneficial, than cure.”
 
Holloway provides homeowners with a few key factors to take into consideration when preparing their home for the colder season:
 
Waterproof chimneys

Chimneys are not usually one of those things that are given too much thought, until there is a problem that is. Chimneys take a severe beating from the Cape Town weather all year round and need to be checked from time to time. “Water penetration is the single biggest cause of deterioration and damage,” says Holloway. “Waterproofing your chimney as soon as a problem is detected is a simple task that will extend the life of your chimney for years as well as protect against expensive repairs caused by water in unwanted places.”
 
Check windows and doors

One of the best things you can do before the rain and cold set in is to check your windows and doors for leaking air and water, especially in older homes. Insulating your windows and doors will not only keep you and your family warmer, but will significantly reduce your energy costs. “If your windows are leaking water you probably need to seal the exterior of the windows as this will stop the water and air from seeping in,” advises Holloway. “With electricity costs constantly on the rise, it would be wise to ensure that heat is not wasted and that all doors and windows are sealed and waterproofed.”
 
Maintain gutters

Gutters are just one of those parts of the home that require constant attention and have the potential to create chaos if they are not working as they should. There are a number of different gutters, each of which with their own set of problems. However, checking your gutters and drains on a regular basis, clearing them of debris and ensuring correct water flow is a good start. “It is important to bear in mind that most gutters have a lifespan and will no doubt need to be replaced or repaired at some point or another,” advises Holloway. “Depending on the situation, leaking gutters can create further problems that, unless seen to, may cause greater and more costly issues.”
 
Summer months are definitely easier in the Western Cape than for rest of the country, however, winter is where things get interesting. Homeowners need to prepare their homes to withstand the often vicious cold fronts that can have devastating effects on our homes. Not only do we need to keep our families warm and dry but we need to ensure that our homes are ready to withstand the elements. “By simply checking your home before winter arrives, you might be able to prevent any emergency repairs from occurring and avoid unnecessary costs and stress,” Holloway concludes.


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