The weather has always been a constant source of mythmaking. For centuries, people across the UK have looked at the natural world and wondered about how it works. ‘Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight’ or ‘rain before seven, fine by eleven’ are both examples of age-old weather myths that have become part of everyday life.
In the modern world, there are many more myths about weather and they have become increasingly specific too. There are plenty of myths about how to best protect our homes when a bout of bad weather hits our shores, but they aren’t always the most helpful. Here, we’ll be diving into how to properly protect your home against bad weather and debunk some of those pesky myths that might be doing more harm than good.
Myth #1: turn the heat up higher in cold weather to warm up faster
In the middle of winter, it’s easy to be tempted to fall back on those heating tips that linger in the back of our minds. If you’ve ever thought to turn your heating up a little higher when it’s cold outside, then you wouldn’t be alone. However, this won’t really help you get warmer faster. Your room will warm up at exactly the same speed as normal, but the higher temperature setting will mean that it will cost you more on your bill.
If you want to check that your home is doing the best it can to keep the cold weather out, your time will be much better spent looking for cracks or splits in your exterior walls. Windows and doorways are common spots for draughts to spring up and let cold air flood into your home. Not only that, but cracks will also let the warm air of your home escape. To keep out the cold outdoors and the warmth indoors, make sure that everything is sealed around your home. That way, you’ll be able to resist reaching for that thermostat as soon as it’s cold outside. Instead, you can be assured that your home will warm you up soon.
Particularly extreme weather conditions are something you don’t want to be having an impact on your home’s interior. So if your heating system hasn’t been working as well as it could and there is a storm forecast, you could book an emergency boiler repair to make sure everything is running in top condition.
Myth #2: Copper pipes are more likely to freeze than plastic pipes
Aside from cranking up the heating, you might have heard the myth that copper pipes are more likely to freeze than plastic pipes. For homeowners with plastic pipes, this myth might lull you into a false sense of security – but it’s important to stay vigilant for frozen pipes regardless of what material is used in your home. Whether your pipe is copper or plastic, the volume of water within the pipe is a more significant factor in determining how likely a pipe is to freeze and burst.
To avoid frozen pipes, it’s important that your heating system is turned on regularly. Doing this will make sure that water is flowing constantly and can’t collect in your pipes where it will freeze. Even a single hour per day is enough to make sure that your home is safe from this issue. If you’re going away on a mid-winter trip, don’t fall into the trap of turning your heating off before you depart; you’ll need it operational so frozen pipes don’t crop up in your absence.
Myth #3: flooding only occurs in flood zones
Some homeowners will feel safe against the worst effects of heavy rainfall because they don’t live in a flood zone – but they shouldn’t rest on their laurels. Even homes outside of flood zones can fall victim to flooding in extreme weather, and they can always feel the impact of heavy rainstorms.
If you’re hoping to avoid flooding, you can make sure that your home, especially the ground floor, is sealed fully. Windows and doors, as with cold weather, are particularly susceptible during flooding, so double- and triple-check those areas. For some extra protection, you can fix boards along door and window edges.
Water damage can have a much wider and more subtle impact on your property than an all-out flood, so you shouldn’t only consider water protection for your ground floor. Heavy rain can cause severe water damage to your roof, and a poorly maintained roof might allow for water to seep into the rest of your home. All of this could be avoided by simply checking over the condition of your roof so that you’re confident it can resist any turbulent weather.
Myth #4: new fittings don’t need to be checked
You might have recently made an improvement to your property; perhaps a new roof or a new garden fence. It can be easy to neglect to check the maintenance of these new additions because of how new they are, but new additions are just as susceptible to weather damage and wear-and-tear as any other part of your home.
If there is one weather condition that is going to prove this myth false, it is extreme winds. If the weather forecast predicts strong wind, it’s a good idea to give everything a quick check before it hits. Your fresh fence might not have been installed with extreme weather in mind, and if it has been loosely fitted, then it could easily blow over in a stiff breeze. Likewise, checking your roof will ensure that there are no loose roof tiles that could be blown off. Make sure everything is strapped down and braced for the incoming storm!
Bad weather can test your home to the limits, so it’s important that you know exactly how to protect it. Unfortunately, these much-loved myths might be doing more harm to your house than you realise. We hope this piece has given you a better idea of how to look after your home during the next storm without relying on any of these meteorological maintenance misconceptions.