Top DIY tips for autumn
As the summer draws to a close, it's time to get your home ready for the colder weather ahead and that means getting to grips with all those DIY jobs like making sure your roof has no missing or broken tiles - you don't want it leaking in the winter do you?!
Take a look at our expert DIY tips for the season ahead, which will hopefully inspire you to get started...
Gutters and downpipes
Check that your gutters aren't blocked, especially if there are trees close to your house. Blocked drain pipes and silted gutters can cause water to enter your roof space with consequent damage to the ceiling and walls. If gutters overflow and don't discharge correctly it can cause flooding too, and can actually de-stabilise your ground over time leading to subsidence. Try the Silverline drain rods set to help with drain cleaning.
Consider getting leaf guards, especially if there are tall trees close to your home. If there's a freeze, the weight of ice and icicles can bring the gutters crashing down. Make sure your outside tap is turned off from inside the house too, and the pipe is drained to avoid a burst if it freezes. Use a ladder or platform to empty the debris from your gutters. A hose attachment can also be used to jet out the contents. If you have any leaks in your gutters use a product like CT1 adhesive to repair them.
Make sure your damp proof course isn't bridged with debris or soil. This could cause damp to get in to your property. Ideally you should be able to see two clear courses of bricks below the damp course. Also check the pointing. Weather can cause the mortar between the bricks to erode. It's important to make sure there are no breaches or even cracks in your walls. If your home is rendered, check for cracks and consider re-painting if necessary. Loose mortar should be be removed using a small angle grinder, and repair any cracks with an appropriate waterproof filler.
In the hot weather, glass or polycarbonate roof panels expand and contract repeatedly. Sometimes the glazing bars that hold them in get pushed out of position. Use a rubber mallet to gently tap them back in to position.
Check the mastic seals around your windows. Over time mastic can shrink, and even tiny holes or breaches can cause water to get in. Clean off the existing mastic and dry it. Then apply mastic carefully to the area needed.
Inside your home
Check your stop cock - often people don't actually know where their stop cock is, so make sure you find this out. Stop taps can often seize up after years if they're not turned, so twice a year it's a good idea to turn them on and off a few times to free them up.
Also check the shut-off valves for the hot water and tanks. Check the insulation of the pipes and tank in your roof - in severe weather the tank could freeze. Get your central heating boiler serviced and tested too, while it's still warm outside. There's always a surge in demand when cold weather starts and people discover that their heating has malfunctioned!
Tips from Dulux (coming soon to QVC)
Getting ready for the winter isn't all about insulating pipes and blocking up the drafts, there's some important fun stuff you can do to make your home look and feel much cosier during those long dark months ahead. So come on, pull out your dust sheets and paint some warmth into the rooms you love to snuggle up in.
Rich chunky-knit shades like Indigo Night, Sea Urchin and Cherry Chocolate wrap a room like a visual hug and look beautiful when lit with table lamps and candlelight.
If you aren't planning a full revamp, you can use rich colours in little hot pops around the house too. Try it in recesses, behind shelves and to transform junk shop furniture and if you want a quick project to help brighten up a weekend trapped indoors, paint up some candlesticks in your favourite winter warming shades.
For a lighter touch, (more of a cardigan than a thick pullie), choose chalky pinks and dusty violets then turn the heat up in the furniture, accessories and details.
And remember, if you'd like to write in and share any ideas, give feedback or ask for more information about a particular DIY subject, feel free to email us at diyprojects@QVC.com