October 31, 2013 05:00 ET

HomeServe's Halloween Handy Hints

WALSALL, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwired - Oct. 31, 2013) - The scariest day of the year is upon us, 31st October, otherwise known as Halloween. Whether you love it or hate it, you can't escape it…. At HomeServe, we've pulled together some handy hints to help you tackle some of the 'scary' things that could happen to you in your home on this spooky day…..

  1. What is that creaking you can hear in the night?

The source of some of those unexplained noises you hear in the night could well be your home. If there has been a sudden drop in temperature compared to the previous day, it can cause a rapid shrinking in all exposed building materials. Buildings are designed in such a way that many of its parts are exposed on the inside to warm environments and at the same time to colder environments on the outside. Roofs and walls are both good examples of this. All this can potentially mean is that parts of the structure are shrinking whilst others are staying essentially the same. So there may not be a need to call out the Ghostbusters or Exorcist just yet.

  1. Unexplained draughts - are your curtains moving seemingly by themselves?

Check your home for any gaps where chilly breezes could sneak in. The most likely places are around doors, windows, loft hatches and pipes which lead outside. Sealing draughts around windows is one of the cheapest and most efficient ways of saving energy. For windows that open, apply draught -proofing strips that stick around the window frame. If it's a window that does not open, use a silicon sealant. Fabric draft excluders placed in front of doors work really well to keep the cold out.

  1. Spiders - seeing a spider scurry across your floor can be as scary as seeing a ghost for many of us

Take some preventative measures in the home which may help stop you finding quite as many of our 8 legged furry friends. Find and seal cracks in basements, window casings and doorways. Make your home unfriendly to other bugs, spiders eat bugs and if their dinner isn't handy, there's no reason for them to be there. Keep your home clutter free so spiders don't have anywhere to hide, they won't stay in an area that's completely smooth. It's advisable that any pet food is tightly covered to keep from attracting bugs, which in turn, attract spiders. The safest, simplest and most effective way to remove a spider from your home is by using the vacuum. However, if you are brave enough to get close, place a glass over the spider, slide a piece of paper underneath the glass and gently place the spider outside.

  1. Slugs - is there anything scarier than stepping bare foot on a slug that's invaded your house in the small hours in the morning or waking up to that silver trail across your carpet?

Slugs have a very good sense of smell and are often attracted to pet food, kitchens or pantries. Having no bones, slugs can squeeze through amazingly tiny cracks. The can also climb vertical surfaces and even travel upside down. Common points of entry include under doors, drilled holes for water or gas pipes and holes for electrical wiring. As with spiders, make sure you seal as many cracks as possible and remember not to leave pet food out uncovered. Another common and easy to use preventative measure for slugs is using copper tape, strips or mesh.

  1. Trick or Treaters

Some people just don't want trick or treaters pounding their doors all night, especially if living on your own or elderly. If you aren't in the mood, turn off your porch, hall and garage lights and keep your curtains drawn. Most trick or treaters bypass a home that looks empty. You could simply not answer the door at all and to avoid anything unpleasant making its way through your letter box, tape it down from the inside. If you still want to treat kids, without answering the door, leave a bowl of candy on the doorstep with a sign saying 'take one', once the bowl is empty, kids will see the sign and assume all the candy got eaten and will let other trick or treaters know that the goods are gone already.

  1. Spooky drops in temperatures doesn't necessarily mean there's a ghostly presence in your home

We recommend you insulate everything. This will help avoid messy bursts and leaks. Get your pipes and water tanks insulated. When pipes freeze in cold weather the thawing can cause pipes to crack. To avoid this, wrap pipes in a quarter-inch thick set of newspapers, adding a layer of foil to help keep them warm. If your water pipes do freeze, keep the sprout of the faucet open, keep the house warm and blow dry small sections of the pipes that are exposed to the weather. And remember, it's always important to bleed your radiators. This releases any trapped air, allowing hot water to fill every part of your radiator and warm the home more efficiently.

So there you have it, the HomeServe guide to a happy Halloween! All that's left for you to do is have a spooktacular night, mwahhhhhaaa.

HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating.

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