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Winterize the House: What You Need to Bear in Mind When It's Cold, Wet and Snowy!

15.11.2019
  1. Protect façade
  2. Check and clean roof and gutters
  3. Drain pipes
  4. Winterize plants
  5. Seal windows and doors
  6. Regulate temperature
  7. Ventilate correctly

When the weather turns cold and wet, be careful. Winter can cause considerable damage to your house. The façade and the roof are particularly at risk in sub-zero temperatures, because cold, wet and snow can attack the substance and cause expensive damage. But other components such as the pipes, windows and doors as well as plants also need to be winter-proofed.

With our tips you will be ideally prepared for the first frosty night and the cold temperatures.

Protect façade

When the outside temperature drops below freezing, damage can occur to the façade. It is therefore important to check the façade thoroughly.

Frozen water in cracks blasts façade
Water can penetrate cracks and blast off parts of the façade when it freezes

This is how it works:

  1. Control the façade for cracks and damage.
  2. Fill cracks in the façade with putty for exterior areas.
  3. Pull off the excess compound with a wooden or plastic spatula. Alternatively, you can smooth out the excess compound with a moistened finger.
  4. Tint the filled cracks with façades after the putty has dried.

Houzy Hint

Tip

Make a note of the repaired areas and consult a specialist in spring: Further, permanent repair work may be necessary.


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Check and clean roof and gutters

A winter check is also indispensable for the roof to avoid damage caused by cracks in the roof tiles. If the gutters are blocked, the downpipes can overflow. In the worst case, crooked gutters can also break off and allow water to penetrate, which can lead to mould on walls or insulation.

Clean Gutters and Winterize the Roof
Blocked gutters and cracks in roof tiles can lead to water damage

This is how it works:

  1. Look for loose tiles and leaks on the roof. Check the flow of all drains on a flat roof.
  2. Check that the snow guard and antenna are securely mounted and that the solar system connections are protected.
  3. Remove autumn leaves from the gutters and clean them afterwards so that water can run off easily.
  4. Check that the gutters are neatly mounted and do not hang crooked.
  5. If you have discovered any damage, consult a specialist.


Drain pipes

To avoid cold damage, outdoor pipes should be turned off and drained before the first night of frost.

Winterise the House and Drain the Pipes
Gefriert Wasser in Leitungen, so können diese platzen

This is how it works:

  1. Turn off the water supply to outdoor pipes such as in the garden.
  2. Place a bucket under the outside water tap and turn it on. Wait until the whole water has flowed out of the pipe. You can leave the outside tap open during the winter period - but the water supply must always be interrupted.
  3. Entleeren Sie nun auch Regentonnen, Wasserschläuche und Gartenpumpen. Auch diese können durch gefrierendes Wasser beschädigt werden.
  4. Empty now also rain barrels, water hoses and garden pumps. These can also be damaged by freezing water.
  5. Pour the water directly into a drain or septic tank. Make sure that it does not flow over paths or stairs: Here it can become dangerous black ice.


Winterize plants

When preparing your potted plants for winter, it is especially important that the roots are protected from frost. A warm coat for the plants counteracts the cold.

Winterize Plants
Many plants only survive the winter if they are protected from the cold

This is how it works:

  1. Place pots on a polystyrene or wooden base (no direct contact with the ground).
  2. Wrap the pots with bubble wrap or winter protection mats resp. jute fabric from the specialist trade.
  3. Sensitive, smaller plants are best placed in a polystyrene or wooden box with drainage holes and fill the spaces in between with dry autumn leaves, straw or another filling material. Place the box in a place protected from the weather.
  4. Depending on the type of plant, the actual plant should also be packed. Fleece covers or jute bags are suitable for this.
  5. Water little but regularly in winter - but only when temperatures are above zero degrees. The water must not freeze in the pot.
  6. Plants that keep their leaves in winter need as much light as possible.
  7. Mediterranean or tropical plants belong in a bright, rather cool indoor winter quarters.

Seal windows and doors

A properly fitting seal is essential in winter, otherwise cold will penetrate into the home and you will heat the environment instead of your living room.

Seal Windows and Doors
If seals on windows and doors do not fit, cold and humidity penetrate

This is how it works:

  1. Check whether the windows and doors are tight. Often the rubber seals are permeable and cold draws into the room. If you discover leaks, seal the windows.
  2. If the seals seem to be seated correctly, it can sometimes also be due to the hinges. The hinges should then be readjusted.
  3. If there is a draught at the door, a rubber seal at the bottom is often sufficient to keep the frost out.

Houzy Hint

Tip

To see if the seal is in place, take a spring and hold it along the edge of the window and door joints.


Regulate temperature

When it gets colder outside, conventional thermostatic valves of radiators / underfloor heating must be readjusted. This way, the heat output can be adjusted to the outside temperatures.

Correctly Regulate the Temperature in Winter
For comfortable indoor temperatures, the heating must be set correctly

This is how it works:

  1. Set the thermostat to level 3 (Caution: Fully open valves do not heat a room faster. This only leads to overheating).
  2. Wait a few hours in order to allow the room temperature to adjust.
  3. If it is now too warm or too cold for you, turn the thermostat head again: Another step increases or decreases the room temperature by three to four degrees.


Ventilate correctly

Regular and, above all, professional ventilation is particularly important during the cold season. Otherwise there is a risk of moisture damage and mould.

Ventilate Correctly in Winter
Ventilate correctly in the cold season to prevent mould

This is how it works:

  1. If possible, you should cross-ventilate three times a day: open all windows and interior doors at once. This way, two to three minutes are enough for air exchange.
  2. Especially in winter do not ventilate through tilted windows, as this is counterproductive: not enough air is exchanged, and condensation and possibly mould growth occurs in the window area. In addition, a lot of heat is lost unnecessarily.

Houzy Hint

Tip

If you have a damp cold cellar, winter is the right time for long ventilation. The dry air extracts a lot of humidity from the masonry at temperatures below zero degrees Celsius - the cellar slowly dries out.


Do you always want to have your house or flat under control, find out about renovation costs and other individual recommendations? With our renovation calculator, you can check the condition of your residential property in 3 minutes. Then, if required, certified craftsmen from the region are at your disposal with just a few clicks.

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