Winter Maintenance Tips for Brisbane Homeowners

Reviewed by Christina Penrose

It might be tempting to spend winter on the couch under your electric blanket, but spending time maintaining your home is a better use of your time.

Keeping your home healthy over the cold months means you're free to enjoy Brisbane's best season - spring! This is when we throw open our windows and let the fresh air in, our gardens start to look great again and home buyers come out of hibernation. 

We've compiled our top 7 tips to keep your home looking and feeling great over winter so that you're ready to welcome buyers in spring or simply sit back and enjoy the warmer weather.

1. Try some winter weatherproofing 

    We may not have ice and snow to contend with like some southern states, but Brisbane still gets cold in winter. On those frosty mornings, it can be warmer outside in the sun than in our homes. This is because many Brisbane homes are not built with winter in mind. Instead, they are constructed to cope with steamy summer temperatures. 

      Improve energy efficiency in your home by adding ceiling insulation if you don't already have it. Insulation will naturally keep your home warmer, and it can help save 45% or more on your energy bills

      Many of Brisbane's raised post-war and Queenslander-style homes with timber floors can also benefit from underfloor insulation. If you're not looking at tackling this problem just yet, covering timber floors with rugs will help you stay cosy. 

      You should also seal cracks around windows and doors to keep draughts away. Door seals and weather strips are easy to install yourself and will make a huge difference to energy efficiency in your home. 

      Up to 40% of a home’s heating energy is lost through windows. Glazing is a major investment, so if you're not able to install this yet, use thick curtains and window pelmets to keep the heat in.

      2. Check heaters and fireplaces 

      Cooler weather brings with it a major safety hazard in Brisbane homes — house fires. 

        Check heaters and electric blankets for signs of damage before using them this winter. Don't forget to turn them off when not in use and don't place them near flammable items.

        If you have reverse-cycle air conditioning, clean the filters to remove dust to improve energy efficiency. You should also have it professionally serviced once a year to ensure it's in good working order. If your home isn't fitted with a heating system, consider investing in one for reduced heating bills and improved safety. 

        If you're lucky enough to have a fireplace to thaw out in front of, inspect the firebox and chimney before its first use of the year to ensure it's safe. You should also have the chimney cleaned at least once a year to remove grime and dust that can lead to a fire. 

        fireplace in old queenslander home

        3. Clean gutters and fix the roof

        Winter winds can see gutters become clogged with leaves and debris. Clean gutters and downpipes before the wet season to reduce the chance of creating a breeding ground for pests such as mosquitoes. 

          Check seals around pipes and gutters to avoid water damage and leaks that can cause mould and flooding in your home. 

          Winter is also an ideal time to have your roof checked for signs of damage. Have broken tiles replaced and ensure roof flashing is in place before Brisbane's storm season begins. 

          While you're thinking about water and pipes, winter weather can cause pipes to freeze, even in Brisbane. Ensure this doesn't become a problem by adding insulation to pipes, especially those connected to your hot water system. This can also help the hot water system run more efficiently. 

          4. Prioritise indoor air quality 

          Even with sunny winter days, cooler weather can cause problems with dampness in Brisbane homes. Combined with poor insulation and ventilation and constant heating, dampness can lead to mould and mildew. 

            If condensation is a problem in your home, use a dehumidifier to prevent health hazards. Use extractor fans in the bathroom when showering and in the kitchen while cooking, dry your clothes outside, repair cracks in windows and open your windows each day to create airflow. These steps will prevent moisture in the home from settling on walls and ceilings and creating a mouldy mess.  

            5. Upgrade smoke alarms 

            If you're a homeowner who likes to choose a particular day each year to check if smoke alarms are working, don't leave it until mid-winter when the chance of a house fire is greater.

              If the smoke alarms on your property are not interconnected and photoelectric, now is the time to have a licensed electrician update them for you. By 2027, this will become mandatory in all Brisbane homes. 

              Even if you don't have a gas heater or an attached garage, consider installing carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer because you can't see it, taste it or smell it, so install an alarm to keep your family safe. 

              smoke alarm in brisbane home

              6. Get a jump on spring-cleaning 

              Winter is a great time to tackle those once-yearly maintenance tasks that are too easy to put off over the warmer months when we're busy entertaining or enjoying holidays. Here are some maintenance jobs to put on your winter to-do list:

                • Lubricate locks and door hinges
                • Have your garage door serviced
                • Clean range hood vents and fans 
                • Use a high-pressure cleaner on driveways and paths to clean mould and prevent them from becoming slippery
                • Clean out your wheelie bins
                • Book a pest inspection before termites swarm in spring
                • Check pool pumps and equipment
                • Clean showerheads to remove mineral deposits 
                • Start to prepare for storm season by replacing batteries in torches and radios

                7. Get out into the garden 

                From topping up your pots with soil to pruning dormant trees and shrubs, there are plenty of challenges to tackle outside your home this winter that are best done before everyone retreats inside to the air conditioning in summer. 

                  In Queensland, the cooler seasons are the ideal time to add new plants to your landscape before the harshness of summer. It's also the time to prepare new garden beds and improve the soil. 

                  If your lawn is your pride and joy, and you don't know what to do with yourself now you're not mowing each weekend, winter is a great time to beat lawn weeds and diseases. 

                  Let Penrose Real Estate Fire up your Listing

                  Brisbane's mild winter is the ideal time to tackle these often-overlooked home maintenance jobs. As all good real estate agents know, maintenance not only helps preserve a home's value, it also helps turn a real estate listing into a sale faster.  

                  If you'd like more tips to prepare your home for the spring selling season or want to speak to an expert, contact Brisbane's most experienced real estate team at Penrose Real Estate.