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Tip of the week: Autumn’s here, get ready for winter

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Google says autumn 2018 in the southern hemisphere began March 20 and will end on Thursday, June 21.

I have the same dilemma every year: when does autumn start so we can start preparing for winter? Google says autumn 2018 in the
southern hemisphere began March 20 and will end on Thursday June 21. 

It retrospect I could just have asked Mrs Mac who announced this morning that “the mornings are getting cold, winter is coming”. So we need to start getting ready. I will give you ideas over the next few weeks but let’s start here: 
When the cold, wet and windy weather hits, the last thing you want is any of it getting inside. Check your external windows and doors to make sure they all close and seal properly. If it begins to rain and they don’t, they will not only let cold air in but could swell and create further issues. 
2. FIREPLACES If you have a gas fireplace, ensure it’s serviced. The pipes and bottles are often kept outside and can perish due to exposure to the elements. Also, squirrels often attack the hoses on regulator fittings so make sure that yours are not full of little teeth marks. And as we begin to think about using our gas bottles, check with your supplier that the way yours are positioned and used is in compliance with the regulations. You don’t want your insurance claim rejected because you are not compliant. 
3. TOP-TO-TOE CLEANING The usual bugs are doing the rounds – I know they have all visited me. But I do think that none of us have paid as much attention to keeping things as clean as we normally would if water was freely available. I know that most of us have kept on top of things but I suggest you go out buy some good disinfectants and sanitised wipes and get your surfaces shiny. Don’t forget to check for bug nests; there are more cockroaches
around than usual and they will all start to breed soon.
*Handy Mac, aka Don MacAlister, is our expert on household DIY issues. If you have a question for him, please send it to or SMS only to 082 446 3859. Find Don on FB:

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