Be kinder to your stuff this winter.

Safer winter driving

Winter weather makes driving more dangerous. Check your tyres have enough tread for the slippery roads ahead. They should have at least 1.5mm deep tread. Don’t forget the spare, too. Top up your windscreen washer level and change the wiper blades if they are making streaks. Your car battery doesn’t like the cold, keep it fully charged. Put some jumper leads in the boot, just in case.

Protect your garden furniture

Keeping your garden furniture looking great and ready for next spring takes a little effort. First, remove all the cushions and wash down your wooden or aluminium furniture with fresh, soapy water to remove any salt, grime or spider webs. Depending on the age of your wooden furniture, give it a light sand and an oil – check with your local hardware store for what’s right for your furniture. Aluminium furniture just needs a towel dry. Store in the garage or cover with a tarpaulin.

Cool pool care

Pools can be tricky to maintain. But a little bit of care every week can stop your pool from turning green. Depending on whether your pool is fresh or salt water, you can add an algaecide to prevent winter growth. Keep the filters running at least 4 hours a day and keep your chlorine levels up. Talk to your pool guy for advice. Finally cover with a pool net. That way you can catch leaves and see what’s going on in the water.

Winterise your boat

If you’re not boating over winter, a few simple maintenance jobs will save you headaches later. If you’ve still got a tank full of fuel, add a stabilizer to maintain it. Or drain it, if there’s less. Flush out the engine with fresh water. Change the gearbox or outdrive oil. Disconnect the batteries and put them on trickle charge. Open drawers, cupboards, on board fridge to allow air to circulate and avoid mould. Check all your electronics and spray with water-repellent silicone to protect them. Cover your boat properly ensuring water runs off the covers.

Clear your gutters

ensure water doesn’t overflow during a downpour. You can install a gutter net to keep your gutters clear or use a gutter cleaner to blast debris away. If you don’t fancy climbing a ladder, call in a gutter cleaning company to do the job.

Metre from the heater

With all the cold weather, it’s tempting to cosy up to your heater. But remember the “heater metre rule”. Don’t get closer than a metre to fireplaces and heaters. Keep people and pets a safe distance and make sure clothing, furniture and curtains are a metre away.

Bach on holiday mode

If you’ve got a holiday home, it pays to check everything’s set for winter. Have you turned off the power, emptied the fridge and left the door ajar to stop it going mouldy inside? If your home is likely to get big frosts, turn off the water and run the taps empty. This will prevent frozen pipes bursting. Finally, remove any food that might tempt unwanted guests and the damage they can do.