With the weather cooling down, and normal life in full swing, it´s the perfect time to start preparing your home for the cooler months. If you´re not sure what this entails- never fear- we have put together a checklist to help you prepare your Spanish home before you turn your heaters on this year.
- Prepare your heating
Number one item in preparing your home is ensuring your heating is ready to go. Are your heaters in working order, fireplaces cleaned serviced, and reverse cycle air conditioning filter replaced and serviced? When it comes to heating- it is always best to get a professional to service and inspect your heating devices to avoid fires or carbon monoxide build-up.
Perhaps you are also considering updating your heating system- maybe it´s time to install that fireplace that you have been considering, or get some underfloor heating in bathrooms (or better still, throughout your home) to feel that warmth on your bare winter feet. If so, you better get onto that to have it sorted before the weather turns cold. Whatever the approach- the important thing is that it is all in safe working order, while allowing you to be warm and toasty at home.
2. Check your fire and carbon monoxide alarms
On the note of safety, it is just as important to make sure that your fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are properly fitted in any room that contains cookware or heating- change the batteries and follow testing instructions to ensure that they work. These things might just save you or your home in the unlucky event of a fire.
3. Revise your energy prices
Now is also a good time to check that your energy company is offering you a good price in comparison with competitors- and consider changing accordingly. With all the uncertainty in the world at the moment, prices are fluctuating and this could very well safe you significantly. Perhaps it´s also a good time to consider switching to green energy providers, and/or installing your own solar panels to avoid the uncertainty of ever-increasing cost of electricity. People who invest in these changes rave about the savings.
4. Check your drainage and downpipes
With the rainy months coming, it is important to check your downpipes and drainage are all ready for the downpours. If water runs down your walls, or pools around your foundations, it could result in flooding, mould, cracking and overall deterioration of your exterior and foundation. So this step is also very important for upkeep of your home.
Firstly, if you have a garden, you should check that the soil around your home hasn´t settled creating spaces for water to pool, and fill any low spots with soil. You should also check that your rain gutters are clear and remove any plant leaves or debris that have accumulated- you will need to do this again once all the leaves have fallen off surrounding deciduous trees.
Also check your gutter downspouts and add extenders if needed so that the water falls away from your home. Doing all these things will help keep your home in better condition, but also make using your balcony or terraces more pleasant in the rainy season.
5. Check surrounding trees
With the rain, wind and falling leaves coming, it´s certainly worth checking whether big trees surrounding your home are healthy, need treatment or have loose branches. Safety is important and planning ahead and removing any trees or branches likely to fall can save you a dangerous or costly outcome.
6. Seal outdoor surfaces
With the dampness of winter coming, it is wise to check that all your exterior surfaces are properly sealed to avoid deterioration causing bigger problems and costly replacement in the future. Although decks and concrete tend to be treated for the outdoors, it is still a good idea to check that they are not absorbing water. You can check this by pouring a little water on the surface- if the water beads up then it should be sufficiently impermeable.
If not, apply a sealer appropriate for the surface- whether it be concrete, asphalt or timber, but make sure you fill in any cracks in beforehand. Tiles may also require re-grout to avoid moisture seeping in. If you have timber trims around doors and windows, remove any chipped paint and check that they are well sealed to avoid deterioration and an expensive repair job.
It is also wise to check whether your doors and windows are properly sealing on a windy day and reseal them if necessary to avoid heat loss and humidity.
7. Cover unused items, furniture or swimming pool
If you live in Spain, you are probably going to continue using your patio furniture, but it is a good idea to cover anything exposed to the elements to avoid mould and deterioration in the wet months. Make sure it is all dry and warm when you cover it to avoid trapping the moisture in.
It is a good idea to cover your pool with a properly fitted pool cover, whether or not it is heated. You may also want to consider shutting down your pool system or sprinkler system if you will not be using them- both jobs are best done by professionals. It is also a good idea to drain the gas out of your lawn equipment if you plan not to use it for a few months to keep it all in good working order.
If your home is in the Costa del Sol, the team at ProMas Construction and Design can help you get these things done in preparation for winter. You may also want to think about upgrades to your home to help you enjoy it in the cooler weather – our next blog will explore that topic.