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Welcome to the latest edition of Senior Snippets: the monthly advisory column with the older members of the community in mind, brought to you by Bryn Evans of Home Instead Senior Care in Sheffield and Barnsley.
This instalment will provide you with some useful tips on how to prepare your home for the cooler months that are quickly approaching. As the seasons change, so do the activities and home needs. Now is a good time to do some seasonal maintenance to keep your home running smoothly. The weather can change quickly, and you don’t want to be caught unprepared. A bit of attention now will save costly repairs and aggravation later.
Check for drafts. Feel for drafts around the edges of windows and doors. A good tip is to use a lighted candle and if the flame flickers, there’s most likely a draft. If necessary, replace seals and repair caulking around window and door frames.
Heating System Maintenance. An annual inspection is important to make sure your heating system is working properly and operating at peak performance this winter. Having your heating system inspected now, rather than waiting until cold weather arrives, will avoid the last minute rush and ensure that you won’t be left shivering on that first cold morning.
Test home safety devices. Replace the batteries in all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide devices and test to make sure they’re working properly.
Clean the gutters. Now is a good time to clear your gutters. Hire a reputable company to remove leaves and debris from gutters and check for leaks.
Clean the fireplace and chimney. You can clear out ash and charred wood from the fireplace yourself, but leave the chimney cleaning to a professional. Have the chimney cleaner check the damper to ensure it can be tightly closed to prevent drafts.
Store Garden Furniture. Clean and store seasonal outdoor furniture. Remove and clean cushions. Wash and dry furniture and store in a dry place over winter.
Install Rails. If you have steps at your front or back door, consider fitting a grab rail to help maintain your balance when walking on a slippery drive or footpath up to your front door.
As you’re enjoying the last bits of the nice weather, make sure that your home is prepared for the coming seasons. Preventative maintenance now will save money on expensive emergency repairs and wasted energy costs. When the chilly weather approaches you and your home will be ready.