As winter bites across South Africa, suddenly all those little home maintenance jobs that you didn’t get to fixing start haunting you.  A leak here and a draft there can make your home uncomfortable at a time when you want to be enjoying the warm indoor spaces.

Not only are these problems irritating, but, when left unattended, they can create bigger problems which are costly. A faulty gutter can create a serious damp issue and a leaking roof can ruin your wooden flooring.  

In addition to essential maintenance, there are some minor cosmetic changes that can instantly make your home a cosier space.

Estelle Nagel of Gumtree SA says “there are many ways that you can make your home more comfortable in the colder season, and you can do it cheaply by buying almost anything you need online”.

Nagel offers these ten handy tips to a warmer home in winter.

  1. Check all windows for gaps allowing draughts in. Use rubber self-adhesive weatherproofing to block those spaces and, if the putty or sealant around your window is failing, replace it.
  2. For openings at the bottom of doors, buy a stopper or make your own stuffed roll.
  3. Clean the gutters around your home to allow water to run away effectively.
  4. Maximise the warming sunlight during the day by clearing any obstructions near windows like bushes and trees.  
  5. Fit thick curtains to lock in warmth.
  6. Put rugs over any tiled floor areas.
  7. Call in a roofing expert to check your roof for leaks and patch any areas that need fixing or replace any tiles that may be damaged.
  8. Install ceiling insulation – it’s estimated that a building loses one-third of its heat through an uninsulated roof. A standard roll of insulation on Gumtree can cost as little as R100 and the average home needs six rolls for thorough insulation.
  9. Wrap your geyser to keep electricity usage down while maintaining a decent supply of hot water. You can buy a geyser blanket on Gumtree for R160.
  10. Invest in an electric blanket to ensure you have a snug bed on a cold night.

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