Stay warm and dry this winter
On top of all the rain this year, winter has arrived earlier than expected. Unfortunately, there’s a high chance the cool weather will linger, with the La Nina effect forecast to stay until spring. This means a cold June, July and August.
If your home isn’t new or well insulated, you’ll be in need of a few ways to keep it warm and dry.
Fight the damp on Sydney’s Northern Beaches
Whether it’s your own home or a rental property, keeping out the damp and reducing mould is essential to a comfortable home, especially when the rain only lets up for a day or two at a time.
Take these preventative steps to keep the mould from setting in:
1. Wipe down windows: In damper climates like Sydney’s Northern Beaches, you will often notice condensation on the windows in the morning. Grab a cloth and make a habit of wiping this condensation off to keep dampness at bay and stop mould from growing. The other option is a humidifier, which will draw moisture from the room (find out more below).
2. Monitor steam: Cooking can create steam, which will add to the dampness of your home. Cover your pots when you cook, and you can reduce the moisture spreading around. If you’re a homeowner or landlord, look to install quality extraction and ventilation in the kitchen.
3. Seal the bathroom: Everyone loves a hot steamy shower in the winter months. Keep bathroom doors closed as much as possible. If you have a window in the bathroom, open it up when you shower. Landlords should make sure bathrooms have decent extractor fans and ventilation.
4. Don’t dry clothes indoors: Wet washing is another source of dampness and condensation. A tumble dryer can also help, but you need to treat the laundry room the same way as the bathroom. Keep the door closed when the dryer is going and ventilate it well.
5. Ventilate: All it takes is to open the doors or windows for 15 minutes every morning. Air flow helps reduce dampness and keep the air in your house fresh.
6. Insulate: Insulation keeps the outdoor and indoor climates separate. A well-insulated home will be less affected by the weather outside. If you own a property, you should do everything to keep it well insulated, including wall insulation and double glazing on windows.
7. Dehumidify: Let science help you out. Kmart in Warriewood usually has affordable dehumidifiers, or you can check out Bing Lee in Mona Vale, Harvey Norman in Belrose or stores at Warringah Mall. Dehumidifiers are explicitly designed to remove moisture from the air. While they may not be able to handle the bathroom at its steamiest, they are perfect to sit next to your washing while it dries on a rainy day. In your cupboards, you can hang smaller moisture absorbers to protect your clothes. Bunnings in Belrose or Narrabeen should have plenty to choose from.
If your property already has mould issues, take prompt action. You can buy mould fighting sprays at the supermarket, or contact a local agency like Wet & Forget or Sydney Deep Cleaning for a more thorough job. Cleaning agencies will remove mould and add measures to stop it from coming back.
Fight the cold with these home heating tips
Keeping the damp out is a start, but you may find the cold seeping in all the same. Try these tips for a winter proof home.
- Insulate: Insulation is good for keeping the heat in. In particular, it is worth checking the roof of your property. A poorly insulated roof may release precious warmth. Check around door and window frames as well. There could be gaps that are letting the cold air in.
- Heat: There are all sorts of different ways to heat any home. Traditional wood fireplaces, electric heaters, flued gas log fires, ducted heating, and more. It comes down to personal choice, the space being heated, and the style of the property.
Small electric space heaters can work wonders in small rooms, while a wood burning stove can heat a large space. Be aware that more sophisticated heating systems will need professional installation. Heaters and fires should also never be left unattended.
You need to consider price, convenience and environmental impact. The best first step is always to improve insulation and minimise drafts.
Speaking of that cold air… drafts are so insidious that we have granted them their own section. Nothing is worse than sitting in a comfy chair on a winter evening and feeling a cold draft blow over your neck. Drafts mean cold air is getting in and warm air is getting out.
Draft proof your home with:
- Door snakes
- Fresh seals on windows and doors
- Lay down rugs
- Close curtains or blinds
- Reverse ceiling fans
- Insulate the roof
- Professional repairs (try MST Window Repairs, which operates across the Northern Beaches)
If you are a landlord, it can be challenging to manage cold and dampness at your property. Make sure that you (or your property manager) communicate clearly with tenants to stop problems before they arise. If your property has damp or mould issues, it won’t hurt to educate your tenants on how they can help and be clear about when the mould is their problem (ie they are not taking good enough care of the property). Your property manager can help you clarify who is responsible for keeping mould at bay.
For a property prone to mould, you’ll need to do what you can, or risk your tenants complaining and taking action against you.
Selling a Northern Beaches property in winter
If you are working on a winter sale, cold and damp properties will put off buyers. Working through the tips above prior to your open home day can make all the difference to a winter sale. If you have to show the home on a cold wet day, find a way to make the property feel warm and welcoming.
Are you passionate about living in postcode 2101 on the Northern Beaches? So are we. Contact us today for all your real estate needs.