Despite December being unseasonably warm, the new year has brought much colder weather – and chilly temperatures are set to continue according to some forecasters.

The Mirror highlighted the need for homeowners to prepare for this colder period, to ensure they don’t end up with unexpected issues and repair bills as a result of easy-to-do maintenance that has been neglected.

Speaking to the newspaper, Adam Powell of Policy Expert offered some advice of things to do and check in the coming week.

“It’s important to ensure that your home is prepared for everything that the winter months might throw at it, especially this year. Cold and stormy weather can ravage buildings,” he said.

Among his top tips are to regularly clear guttering and drains, because debris can not only block them, but also freeze and cause a worse blockage when the weather gets colder.

Last year, the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings stressed that carrying out simple maintenance tasks, such as cleaning guttering, can make a big difference to preservation efforts with older buildings

He also suggests looking at the pointing in the brickwork on the exterior of your home to make sure there are no areas that need repairs.

Another simple thing homeowners can do to protect their property is set their heating to a minimum of 14 degrees C throughout the winter to prevent pipes from freezing when temperatures drop.

If you don’t fancy cleaning your gutters yourself, you can always pay for gutter cleaning services in Merseyside to ensure your home is ready for the winter.