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Protect yourself from the cold during the winter. To be quiet before the first frost, it is time to inspect its habitat and make some checks of use. Heating, ventilation, roofing installations... Overview.

Development works to isolate cold his home

Have the boiler revise

boiler revision

The law requires the annual revision of the boilers. And a properly regulated boiler generates 8 to 12% energy savings. In addition, well-maintained, this expensive equipment is 5 times less likely to fail or to have technical problems. Owner or tenant, in house as in apartment, it is the occupant who is responsible for contacting the professional who will provide the service.
In case of a disaster or incident related to the boiler, the certificate issued by the professional at the end of the revision may be requested by the insurance. If, with a recent boiler, a minimal contract including only the maintenance is sufficient, it is often more advantageous for older equipment to conclude a maintenance contract including one or more repairs - from 60 to 140 € per year.
According to the service providers, this type of contract includes only the parts and the displacement, sometimes the labor also. If the maintenance contract is lump sum and tacitly renewed from year to year, the service provider must nevertheless notify the individual of its renewal of 1 and 3 months before the expiry date. It has the obligation to issue a document explaining the procedure to be followed to terminate the contract, failing which the latter may be terminated at any time of the year without costs (Article L136-1 Code of Consumption).

Afnor boiler maintenance contract

There is a standard contract by Afnor for the maintenance of the boiler, a guarantee of clarity.
If the maintenance contract is not of this type, check that it is as close as possible or ask your service provider.

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Control the radiators

In addition to the annual visit of the heating engineer (burner maintenance and boiler adjustments) and the inevitable chimney or stove chimney sweep, some actions (such as flushing water and dust) are within everyone's reach.
They make it possible to obtain a better efficiency of the heating system, and thus to save energy. When you hear small gurgles in the radiators, a whistling sound in the circulator or the pressure at the gauge of the boiler drops, it means that it is necessary to purge the installation.
This simple operation starts with stopping the boiler and adding water to the circuit to raise the pressure. The purge must be carried out by the radiator located the highest and farthest from the boiler and then continue piece by piece, while controlling the pressure on the manometer.
Going around all the heaters also helps to clean under and behind each. This is an opportunity to locate furniture located too close to a heat source, and move them.
Electric convectors and other heat emitters will also be more efficient clean, thanks to a dusted grid and a cleaned facade.

bleed a radiator

To purge a radiator, place a container under the purge screw turned a quarter of a turn: the air is evacuated in a hissing sound.
When the water starts to come out, tighten the screw by hand.
If the flow continues and you must force to close, this means that the bleed screw must be replaced.

adjustment of thermostatic radiator valves

If a thermostatic faucet is out of adjustment or running in a vacuum, it is best to change it.

Prepare firewood

Before delivery of logs for the fireplace or stove, determine where to store them. The wood must be easily accessible and protected from the weather in a bright and airy place.
It is better to avoid the cellar and the garage. In the absence of a garden hut or shed, an outside wall facilitates the stacking of logs, provided you do not stick the pile to the wall so that the air circulates.
The wood must not be in direct contact with the ground but placed on a concrete slab or pallet so as to prevent moisture from damaging it. It must be protected from the rain by a canopy or tarpaulin, installed on a slight slope to prevent the water from stagnating.
Spaces at the ends of the pile will let the air circulate between the logs. If the storage area is reduced, alternating the direction of the wooden beds stabilizes the pile in height.
Wood offers a better calorific value when it is at room temperature, hence the interest of having some logs close to the hearth. The quality of the outbreak depends on the moisture content (ideally 20%). If wet wood burns badly, it is too dry, burns quickly and has a bad heat ratio.
The essence also determines the quality of the fire. Softwoods can be used for ignition, because they burn up quickly and give off heat quickly, but they clog the pipes. The best species are oak, hornbeam, elm, beech, ash and maple.

the good wood to heat

A sufficiently dry wood is gray at the end of the log and cracked, without fungus or mold.
It sounds when you hit a log against the other.

Clean the ventilation system

cleaning the ventilation of a house before winter

Poor ventilation causes condensation and humidity. In principle, the air of the habitat is renewed in a natural or mechanical way.
In the first case, the housing is equipped with high and low grilles that ventilate rooms. In the second, the controlled mechanical ventilation, a device constantly renews the air of the housing without causing loss of heat.
In both cases, the system must be checked in parallel with the start of the heating.
Grilles and air vents are cleaned inside and out with a vacuum cleaner, taking care to remove anything that can block them.
If the VMC inputs are self-adjusting, the moving diaphragm must not be stuck or torn and the humidity-free parts sucked in without being wet.
For effective cleaning of the mouths, it is better to disassemble them and let them soak in a degreaser diluted with hot water. They must be dry before being replaced.
Filters are changed annually, especially for dual flow VMCs.
The fan is cleaned with a dry cloth.
This operation can be delegated to a professional, who will also clean the interior of the ducts with appropriate equipment (about 130 €).

clean the air vents

Moisture promotes the development of mold, hygiene problems and degradation of coatings.
To function properly and to renew the air of the room, the air vents must not be clogged.
So you have to clean them every year.

Protect the water meter

In cold weather, it is better to protect your water meter from freezing. In case of deterioration of it, the cost of its replacement is indeed the responsibility of the careless consumer. If it is inside, simply make sure that the room remains "frost free" in case of prolonged absence. If he is in an unheated room (garage or cellar), he can be protected by glass wool, a foam sheath or by making an insulating box.
When the meter is located in an outside view, as here, insulating materials of recovery are enough.
Be careful though, some absorb moisture: glass wool, dead leaves, straw, blankets, old newspapers or cardboards.
Also avoid the expanded polystyrene plates that rodents are fond of, and opt for polyurethane or extruded polystyrene plates.
Also remember to drain the outside meter in case of second home or unused schedule in winter.
The upstream part of the meter belongs to the dealer and has a tap.
Do not just close it to avoid freezing. Purge the section of pipe between the meter and the internal power supply of the network by actuating the two valves of the check valve: one purges the meter, the other the private installation.

drain the water meter

To drain, close the shutoff valve (between the meter and the utility line).
Open all faucets (inside and outside) to drain water from the pipes.

how to proceed with the emptying of a water meter

Open the check valve valves located after the meter.
When the water no longer flows, close them and other faucets in the installation.

freeze the water meter

To isolate the meter, deposit packaging recovery chips in the tank so that the lines are protected by this material.

water meter protection against freezing

Place a cut polyurethane plate (3-4 cm) to fit the meter.
Then a second plate to the dimensions of the look (- 1 cm).
Close the eyes.

Garden: think of frost and tools

Before the first frosts, think of purging the buried sprinkler system. Drain the device completely.
The earth-moisture combination is corrosive to the metal parts of your garden tools. If they have not been routinely cleaned after use, scrape and grease them before storing.
This is an opportunity to check the sleeves and bindings. On tools with a socket, just a turn of the screw. Blunt spade blades can be filed and stored by protecting their end with a section of insulating foam sleeve or garden hose.
Emptying the fuel tanks of the heat devices, stagnant fuel may damage them and will lose its effectiveness anyway.

drain the hoses

Remember to drain the buried sprinkler systems and all water inlets to prevent them from being damaged by frost.

clean garden tools

The sap sticks to the pruner blades. Be sure to unclog with alcohol, then oil with a soft cloth or spray with a lubricant.
Clean all tools before storing.

Inspect the gutters

If the gutter is essential for evacuating rainwater, it also recovers moss and dead leaves.
An annual interview is required. It is best to prevent climbing plants from colonizing the roof to reduce waste generation. To remove them, equipped with a good pair of glove.
After cleaning, inspect the gutter for any cracks. If necessary, a bitumen waterproofing strip will form a very effective dressing to cover and seal the cracked area.
Be careful, do not press your ladder directly against the gutter, at the risk of seeing it slip. Whenever possible, use a façade spreader or scaffolding.

gutters cleaning

Equipped with gloves and a seal, recover stagnant waste.
To prevent them from falling into the downspout, progress from the birth of it to the opposite heel.

put crapaudines on the gutters

Prevent dead leaves from clogging the downspout by installing a thrust pad: a kind of sieve that fits into the drain hole of the gutter.

Avoid infiltration on roofs

Clean the roof before winter

Mosses, when installed on the roof, impede the flow of rainwater.
Take off with a scraper, rinse, then spray an antifoam (in dry weather).
Two to three weeks later, run the pressure washer in the direction of the slope to prevent seepage.
Once the tiles are dry, spray a sealant that will extend their life.
The sealing of the roof tiles and the hip can crack: so many passages conducive to infiltration.
Seal with a bead of caulk for exterior masonry. Check for the presence of noquets at the junction of two roof panels: they guarantee a seamless impermeability.
If necessary, add some.

to defeat his roof

Even if the treatment products are effective, scrape as much as possible before the antifoam treatment.
An old plaster knife or a small trowel are suitable.

spray antifoam on the roof

Spray the antifoam roof with a garden sprayer (and a spear extender) or, as here, directly connected with the can to the garden hose.

clean the roof with a pressure washer

High pressure cleaning will restore the roof to its original luster.
Be sure to work safely: equipped with a harness perched on a well-secured roof ladder.

how to pass his tiles to Kärcher

Always carry out high-pressure cleaning from the top of the roof downwards so as not to lift the cover elements and to avoid moistening the rafts and roof panels.

clean the gutters on the roof

The valleys recover the vegetable waste which generates a permanent humidity degrading the elements of cover.
Clean this area to facilitate the flow of water.

plug the holes in the roof

Seal any cracks on the sealant mortar for exterior waterproofing.
Beforehand, brush the surface to rid it of foams and dirt.

change the damaged tiles

To remove a broken tile, lift the tiles from the top row.
Slide the new element until you hang the lugs on the batten and lower the upper row.

roof maintenance before winter

Also check the other special points of the cover: clean the doors and check the sealing strips to the right of the roof outlets.

Looks: check the evacuation

Once the pipes have been overhauled, also check the evacuation points: get rid of anything that might obstruct them and avoid leaving the waste to the sewer. Water is indeed harmful when it stagnates at the foot of the wall.
The moisture penetrates into the latter and rises inside by capillary action. If the foundation wall adjoins a paved or concrete floor, the water contained in the soil will not be able to evaporate and the phenomenon of capillarity will be accentuated.
In prevention, effectively clean the drainage network with a ferret connected to the output of a pressure washer.
With its "retro jets" side nozzles, the open channel is also a good solution.

unclogging his sewers

If the hoses are clogged, remove the larger one by hand.
Then, continue the cleaning with the choice of the ferret or the channeling of a high-pressure cleaner.

empty the eyes of water collection

Also think about cleaning the looks.
In the case of an installation of a rainwater collector, place a piece of wire in the eye to filter the dead leaves.


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