Home Tips For Winter

Autumn Winter header

With the weather cooling, before you know it, winter will be upon us. Is your rental ready for a chill in the air? A few small steps can prevent your property from becoming a damp, mouldy disaster. Here are tips as we wave a fond farewell to summer.

Check if you are eligible for the Healthy Rentals Programme
The Healthy Rentals programme provides tenants in Māngere-Ōtāhuhu, Puketāpapa and Whau Local Board areas with advice and assistance to help create a healthy and energy-efficient home. Find out if you are eligible for this programme and it’s associated benefits

What about the windows?
The expansion and contraction of wooden windows that occur with temperature fluctuations can cause gaps and cracks that can allow cold air to enter. Check your windows for their integrity and photograph any potential problems. Email them to your property manager or landlord. 

Outdoor assessment
Take a good walk around your property to see what needs to be dealt with as autumn arrives. These are a few things you will want to check and report on should you spot any problems:
-  Blocked gutters
-  Dead branches and trees, especially around driveways
-  Dead leaves, plants or flowers that are an eyesore and need to be removed
-  Cracks in driveways, on decks and pathways that could worsen over the winter
-  If there is a pool or water feature, ensure it is covered and free of leaves and debris

Storage Solutions
Sometimes, especially for those that rent apartments, there is little storage for outdoor furniture, potted plants, beach basics, toys, summer clothes and more.  A storage unit could be a solution. However, if it is a costly solution then check if maybe a few friends or neighbours might be willing to share the space and costs.

Check your heat pump
Plants can get wild over the summer and cover vents critical to the optimal operation of your heat pump. Not only could overgrown plants and debris prevent proper air flow, but they could also be a fire hazard. Check your unit to make sure that there is nothing blocking the unit. If there is, assess whether you can fix it yourself or whether your landlord or property manager needs to address the situation. 

Make mildew the enemy
Be on high alert for signs of mildew in any closet, cupboard or room where you potentially have a problem with moisture. Mildew, caused by mould, looks like a thin black or sometimes white growth.  It can occur on but is not limited to drywall, carpets, fabric, leather, wool or paper. Make every effort to stamp out the growth of mildew and mould as soon as possible. It not only damages belongings but it can be a hazard to your family’s health. A mix of 70% white Vinegar/ 30% water can be sprayed directly to affected areas. Leave 30 minutes when wipe or scrub. White Vinegar also helps to prevent regrowth if caught early enough. 

Chimney and fireplace safety
Check the flue and chimney that both are working and free of creosote before you light a fire.  Even if your fireplace is gas, never operate it without a proper screen in place, especially if you have children.  If you are burning wood, a fireproof rug immediately outside of the doors will prevent embers from landing on the floor or carpets that can cause damage.