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Wednesday 6 December 2023 Dublin: 4°C
the upgrade

6 practical tips to get your house and garden winter-ready

Summertime’s the perfect opportunity to do a little house and garden maintenance.

WHILE THERE ARE no real extremes of weather in Ireland, there is a LOT of rain.

And wind. Don’t forget the wind.

Bad weather can be an almost constant event from November to February at the least and sometimes – well, often – stretches much later into the year.

But we do get good weather on occasion and when we do, it’s a good time to look at the exterior of your house and garden and see what might need cleaning up, doing up or weather-proofing for the coming year.

1. Gutters

State Farm State Farm

Over the winter, gutters can become filled with leaves, which clogs them, weighs them down and can pull them off the house – so that needs to be taken care off, and any gunk or debris should be removed.

Additionally, the extra weight may have weakened the connection to the house making it easier for the gutters to fall down or be pulled off in high wind so check connections and strengthen or replace gutter pieces as necessary.

2. Paint the exterior

Mary Hutchison Mary Hutchison

Painting your house is about more than just making it look pretty – it protects the exterior, particularly any timber parts, whether that’s cladding or windows. All the wind and rain can literally strip off the paint and create water damage and rot to timber.

So take a look at the exterior of your house and particularly any timber trims, soffits or fascias and think about getting your paintbrush out and touching it up.

3. Fix damaged roofing 

SodanieChea SodanieChea

Our strong winds can wreak havoc on roofs, pulling up tiles and slates and tearing waterproofing.

Summer is a great time to give your roof the once over and check out if there’s any interior damage to the structure under your roof. Once that’s sorted it’s time to replace any broken, damaged or missing tiles or slates. You’ll thank us next winter when the wind’s howling around your ears.

4. Replace, repair or paint the windows

mripp mripp

Like our point above about the woodwork, if you have timber windows take a good hard look at them and see if they need repairing, painting or replacing. If there are any panes broken or loose, now’s the time to fix them.

If they’re not double-glazed, consider investing – it will help with keeping the heat in and your energy bill down.

5. Insulate yo’self

ilovebutter ilovebutter

Kind of like ‘treat yo’self’ but much better for your house and wallet. A lot of the heat you work so hard to pay for can escape through the roof – particularly if you don’t have insulation.

Insulation is generally fibreglass and laid out in the attic between the joists. There are building standards guides to the thickness of insulation you should use at a minimum but it never hurts to go above and beyond that to be really toasty warm this winter.

6. Garden

Your garden is probably gloriously in bloom now – or maybe it’s overrun with weeds making themselves known now that the cold snap has ended.

Summer is the time to tidy up any borders, edges, mow the grass and trim the hedges and trees. It can be time for a little garden design too, if you’re so inclined. Elephant topiary (above) mightn’t be everyone’s cup of tea but at least it’ll get the neighbours talking…

Read: Just what is the Building Energy Rating – and what do you have to do about it?

Also: What is the Better Homes grant and how do you get one?