5 DIY hacks to get your home ready for winter

Before the cool weather fully kicks in, stop for a moment and take note of all those odd jobs around your place that need fixing. It’s likely you have a whole list, but here are just five to tackle now.

1. Fix up leaking gutters & downpipes

Gutters and downpipes are probably some of the least-considered elements of the home, but when they become damaged and need replacing you might wish you had given them a little more thought.

fixing leaking gutters

Michael Duffy shows how easy it is to fix leaking gutters and downpipes. Picture: Chris Jones

“Water damage on your downpipes is likely caused from leaks over time,” explains Michael. The good news is, though, that even the most novice handyman or woman can fix leaking gutters with a little tender-loving DIY.

First up, get yourself a step ladder and some Selleys Roof & Gutter Spray Seal. Assess the situation, i.e., cracks or rusted-through patches on the downpipes and whether there are holes in the gutters.

Next, spray the translucent sealant over any water-damaged areas (you can apply this even if the surface is wet). Apply the included self-adhesive mesh over any holes, then apply two thick coats of the sealant. TIP: If painting, allow 24 hours drying time.

Voilà – fixed gutters and downpipes in literally less than 10 minutes.

self adhesive tape

A little self-adhesive tape goes a long way in some situations… Picture: Chris Jones

2. Service your hot water system

Picture this: Alarm buzzing at 6am and a dreary-eyed you walking into the shower to discover the hot water system has had a major breakdown. First world problem, sure, but devastating nonetheless.

Jane Newey's bathroom

Avoid the dreaded ‘hot water running out’ situation, and give your system a once over before winter. Picture: Erinna Giblin

The recommendation is to service your hot water system typically once every five years to keep it running and in tip-top shape. Each season though, if you have a storage tank system, you can check the temperature and pressure relief valve yourself.

Wear gloves as this involves expelling hot water, then lift the handle on the valve to release a little water, and close it. If it feels stuck, call your plumber as the valve likely needs replacing.

3. Trim tree branches

Fallen branches are no good anywhere: Not on top of your car, not in your garden and certainly not on your roof.

“Trimming branches back from trees will not only help let the sun in on warmer winter days, but it’s also a weather-proofing tactic to protect your home from falling branches on those windier days,” says Michael.

Fabian Capomolla with fruit tree

Give your trees a good prune to avoid fallen branches on cold, windy days. Picture: Fabian Capomolla

Get it done by grabbing your toolkit – you’ll need secateurs and a handsaw. Trim any small branches using secateurs, and with caution use the handsaw to cut back medium-sized branches.

4. Winter-proof your deck

All those juicy barbecue stains from alfresco eating have likely left some solid stains on your deck, which can ruin its appearance.

Use a bleach-free cleaner suitable for your deck to give it a solid clean then apply a water-repellent sealer or stain to protect it against the winter elements.

outdoor deck dining area

Winter-proof your deck so it’s a dreamy space to be all year round. Picture: Rochelle Eagle. Styling: Beckie Littler Stylist

5. Clean your barbecue

Cooking roast veggies in the barbie is a delicious alternative to using your oven – a great idea on those wintry days when all you want to do is cook.

Check out our article How to clean a barbecue for a step-by-step guide on how to clean your barbie so it’s spick and span all year round. That way, even if you do decide to go cold turkey for the next six months, you won’t be faced with a greasy mess when you next light her up.


Who said barbecues are only for winter? Clean yours so it’s usable all winter long, too. Picture: Getty

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5 DIY hacks to get your home ready for winter