With the dark nights closing in and temperatures outside plummeting, it’s time to carry out some DIY on your house, so that it’s in top condition for the coming winter months. We’ve given you seven top tips so that you’re cosy, safe and prepared for anything unexpected.

1. Seal that heat in

In winter, cold air and moisture tends to always find a way to penetrate your home. There are several solutions you can take which keeps the warm air in and the cold air out. To begin with, examine your door and window frames closely to see if there are any gaps. If there are, then you can fill them with mastic sealant, using a caulking applicator gun. If there are pipes, cables or flues penetrating walls or roofs, there may be gaps around them that are letting in the cold air. Fill these gaps with a fire retardant filler such as this Siroflex Expanding Cavity Foam which has a high ignition point and is not self-igniting. You can also add door and window seals to any fitting that needs a tight seal, including putting a draught excluder on your letter box. If you have single glazed windows or Georgian style Sash windows, use glazing film to give you that extra layer of insulation.

2. Bleed your radiators

When the heating is turned on after a long period of not being used, sometimes it may not warm your home properly with radiators not heating properly or only half of a radiator being warm, and this could be because there are air bubbles trapped in the system. To fix this you need to bleed your radiators. Before you start, ensure your heating is turned off and your radiators have completely cooled.  Ensure that both the intake and exit valves are turned to the ‘open’ position, then use a radiator key to open up your radiator valves. You’ll hear a hissing sound as the air escapes from the radiator, and there may be drips from the bleed valve. When a steady stream of water squirts through the bleed valve you’ve released all the air trapped, and the valve can be re-tightened. For a comprehensive guide on how to bleed your radiators, read more here.

3. Replace light bulbs

With the end of British Summer time the dark nights draw in much sooner, and suddenly we’re aware of all the light bulbs in the house that need changing. We’ve got a handy guide to tell you which light bulb type, size, fitting and brightness to choose when looking at the vast array on offer. Browse our lighting range here.


4. Prepare for power cuts

With winter weather comes many more storms, and this can sometimes result in unexpected power cuts. Don’t be caught short, place a torch in key rooms and ensure they’re already supplied with batteries, as is our torch range here.

5. Check your guttering

Heavy rain can cause immense damage to a house if the guttering is not clean, clear and doing its job. Here are some top tips for checking and repairing your guttering. Browse our rainwater goods range for any replacement guttering parts, and we also sell roof and gutter sealant for any small leaks in the seals.


6. Ensure the house is secure

When the nights are dark and long, give yourself peace of mind that your house is safe and secure. Check through the house to ensure that all the locks are sufficient. If they feel flimsy or breakable then look to repair or replace. For front and back doors, try a sash lock or deadlock system, and/or a night latch. You could also add a door bolttower bolt, and/or door chain. Adding a door viewer allows you to see who’s at the door before you open it. Patio doors can easily become rusted or stiff or keys can go missing so check and replace the patio locks as necessary. Windows need to be checked too, and if you feel any are unsecured install a rack bolt. padlocks can be great for sheds, security spikes can be added to walls and fences,  and monkey tails can be added to garage doors.


7. Controlling pests

With a lovely warm and cosy home, it’s no wonder that a whole host of pests want to come inside and join in! Unfortunately, many of these can be unwanted, causing mess and sometimes destruction if they chew through wires and wood. For vermin choose either a pre-baited sealed station or more traditional easy-set traps, there’s also kill and seal hygienic traps or electronic traps. We also sell fox repellent, spider repellent and fly stickers. Our indoor pest repellers target rats, mice, spiders, cockroaches and ants, and are harmless to pets and children. Browse our entire pest control range here.