It may still be summer, but before you know it, the nights will close in and the seasons will change. Fall and winter can be wonderful; seasons of Halloween, snuggly sweaters, pumpkins and then Christmas. Yet they have their drawbacks, including the impact that they have on the home.
There are many things that can go wrong in the home and garden during the cooler months especially if you don't live in Greece but in a colder place. It's also a time when you will feel less inclined to deal with them, so you need solutions quickly. Let's run through a list of the most common complaints, and importantly, how to go about fixing them.
Problem: Frozen pipes and gutters
Solution: If you have any pipes that are particularly exposed - i.e. not internal -- then you should wrap them up when summer is done. This is quite literal; buy some fleece or tape and surround the pipe with it. It's just like putting a pair of gloves on for pipes - which is one of the stranger sentences you'll read today.
Frozen gutters with icicles dripping over them may look pretty, but they stop being funny when you have roof problems as a result. Try and clean gutters out as often as possible. If you don't have a water butt that the water is being emptied into, then applying some antifreeze to gutters is a good idea before a cold patch.
Problem: Fallen leaves cluttering up the garden
Solution: Oh how we all love fall leaves! The colours change, we take lots of pictures and comment on the golden array of colours. Then they start blocking drains and causing general mayhem. You can scoop leaves out of drains yourself, but it's not the most pleasant of tasks. If it goes beyond your willingness, call in the blocked drain specialists or install covers over drains to keep leaves away. Try and rake once a week; or at least intend to, then not do so because you have better things to do with your time. You're only human.
Problem: Ice on pathways becoming a hazard
Solution: Walking in winter is almost a sport in itself, as you tense your core and pray you're going to stay upright. The roads will hopefully be gritted, but your path and walkways should be too. You can buy expensive home products for this, or you can go a little more low-tech. Cat litter is a good option, the cheapest that you can find will do the trick. Just hope there's no neighbourhood cats who love their huge new outdoor litter box.
Problem: Black mold and damp
Fall and winter can be a nightmare for condensation, which in turn leads to damp and, eventually, mold. Try and air out your home frequently, even if it's freezing, to let the moisture escape. You can also use polymer crystals. Although designed for gardening, they absorb any water they come into contact with. Keep some in vases and bowls and change them out when they expand. As a final tip, do not dry washing indoors in winter, as the extra moisture just makes everything worse.
Lot's of love