Certainly, the Bay Area is a very different animal than the midwest or the east coast when it comes to the winter season…but we still need to prepare our homes for weather changes. Lower temperatures, shorter days, and dampened air have the potential to damage homes, adding extra work and stress to our already busy lives. Fortunately, there are several ways to be proactive with the winterization process.
Generally, you’ll want to inspect your home for vulnerabilities. Taking care of touch-ups, repairs, and potential hazards before winter rushes in will significantly lessen the amount of projects, expenses, and stressors down the road.
Foundation, Siding, Windows, & Doors
- Cracks in foundation, siding, or stucco (to prevent moisture intrusion)
- Water-tight/air-tight windows and doors
- Improve insulation by replacing cracked or broken glass before the colder temperatures find their way indoors. Also, inspect caulking and weatherstripping. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, gaps around windows and doors can increase your heating bill by up to 10%! (Click-on the link to learn more about energy-saving)
For structural and financial stability, it is important to maintain the health of your home’s foundation. Rain-gutters work to guide water from your roof and away from the foundation. Over-saturation of the soil can lead to settling of the foundation if downspouts end too close to the exterior of your home. Additionally, clogged gutters can cause wood rot in the fascia boards, due to lack of water flow.
Reasons for concern:
- Missing shingles
- Standing water
- Deteriorated sealant
Spare your loved ones the anxiety and call a licensed roofing contractor to inspect your roof and discuss any recommended repairs. If you see a problem, fix it now…don’t wait until later when you’ll have more problems.
Trees and Shrubs
Winter winds can be a danger to your property. Make sure to inspect your trees for broken branches (to remove before they fall). Keeping tree branches and other plants about 3 feet from your home can prevent clogged rain gutters and unwanted climbers (see our “Vines on the Mind” blog article if you need help removing vines or other climbing plants from your home).
Pathways & Lighting
When winter comes around, so do the rains and early sunsets. Dark, wet conditions can make walkways and steps extra hazardous. Take the time to protect yourself, friends, and family by giving your pathways and exterior light fixtures some TLC.
Heating, Carbon Monoxide, & Smoke
Carbon monoxide, fires, and high energy bills are undesirable for all, no matter the season! Consider hiring a professional to give your home an annual inspection. Your furnace may be emitting high levels of carbon monoxide, the batteries may be dead in your smoke detectors, and/or there may be ducting gaps causing a spike in your energy costs.
If you take care of your home, your home will take care of you. Be safe this winter!