Winters in the Golden State are relatively mild, especially in comparison to other parts of the country. Nevertheless, homeowners must winterize their homes to protect their property and save on heating costs. The following are 10 winterization tips recommended for California homeowners.
Depending on where California residents live, snowfall may be heavy or extremely light. Those who reside in mountainous or inland areas experience winters like much of the country. Homeowners in these parts should winterize the property to avoid freezing pipes and similar calamities.
Residents in Northern California, especially those living in mountain ranges or highlands, expect each winter to drop 100 inches of snow. Western parts are warmer in winter; however, the nights tend to cool down quickly. Nighttime temperatures in the desert areas of the south are also chilly.
The coldest month in the Golden State is January. Temperatures in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada average 3 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Sacramento sees temperatures ranging from 39 to 54 degrees Fahrenheit during the month. Rainfall occurs throughout the state, averaging 3 inches.
As California’s winter approaches, weather conditions should prompt homeowners to winterize their homes. Implement proper winterization techniques to save on heating costs, prevent exorbitant repair bills, ensure the home functions optimally, and enjoy the home interior and outdoor areas comfortably.
Tip 1: Inspect the Furnace
Perform a furnace inspection when switching from air conditioning to heat. Simply turn on the heat, adjust the thermostat to 80 degrees and listen for the clicking sound of the furnace turning on. When warm air blows through the registers, it is a signal that the furnace is functional.
Replace or clean the furnace filters. Clean filters are the key to ensuring the HVAC system operates efficiently. Replacing dirty filters (or cleaning reusable ones) also keeps the indoor air of the home clean. Change the filters twice yearly, typically before each heating and cooling season.
Tip 2: Seal Doors and Windows
Air leaks can exponentially increase heating costs. Sealing the air leaks, however, helps homeowners maintain their property and avoid the problems and resulting expenses associated with excess indoor moisture. The home will also be more comfortable when air leaks are sealed.
Adding door sweeps is among the easiest ways to seal the bottoms of exterior doors. Check the home for cracks, crevices, and other gaps through which outdoor can enter the interior. Caulking, expanding foam and weather-stripping will fill the gaps and seal energy-draining air leaks.
Tip 3: Clean Gutters
Water damage can be avoided when California homeowners clean the gutters. Prior to the start of winter, clear the leaves, twigs, and debris gathered in the gutters. Ensure the precipitation drains without obstruction. Ice dams and roof damage are two possible outcomes of clogged gutters.
Tip 4: Inspect the Roof
Homeowners who are comfortable climbing a ladder to clean the gutters can simultaneously examine the condition of the roof. Check the flashing around pipes, vents, and the chimney. Look for missing or damaged shingles. Promptly repair roof issues to prevent water leaks in the cold season.
Tip 5: Trim Nearby Trees
Tree limbs that extend near the rooftop can be dangerous when winter storms hit. Roof damage and clogged gutters are avoidable outcomes of fallen branches. Minimize safety concerns by trimming healthy tree branches that grow in close proximity to the home.
Tip 6: Insulate Water Pipes
Pipes that freeze in the subfreezing temperatures of winter are likely to burst. Insulate the pipes closest to the exterior of the home to prevent major water damage catastrophes. Set the thermostat at 55 degrees or higher at all times, even when out of the home, to avoid ruptured pipes.
Tip 7: Insulate the Water Heater and Attic
Adding insulation around the water heater, such as with a water heater insulation blanket, will limit heat loss and reduce energy bills. The attic, too, should be insulated with at least 12 inches of insulation. Homeowners who are unsure if the existing insulation is sufficient should consult a professional.
Tip 8: Repaint
Exterior paint that is in optimum condition seals the wood siding and protects it from the intrusion of moisture. Examine the condition of the paint around the home. Touch up areas of deteriorated paint. When the paint is failing overall, schedule a repainting of the property prior to winter.
Tip 9: Replace Lightbulbs
Functional exterior lighting is an essential safety element during the reduced daylight hours of winter. Homeowners should test the path lighting, porch lights, security lights, and any other illumination. Replace the bulbs to ensure visibility in the darkness of the winter months.
Tip 10: Check the Fireplace
Californians who have not used the indoor fireplace since last winter should perform an inspection before igniting it. Wildlife, like birds, may have built nests. Check for obstructions by burning newspaper while keeping the damper open. Smoke that fails to easily rise upward signals a blockage.
Disaster Restoration in California
Prepare your California residence or business for each winter and prevent the possibility of water damage. Despite properly winterizing the home, unanticipated disasters can happen. When unforeseen water damage strikes, call ServiceMaster EMT for prompt and professional water damage restoration.
Our experienced water damage cleanup technicians arrive onsite and quickly begin the restoration process. Using powerful dehumidification equipment and advanced water extraction machinery, we remove all excess and standing water. Materials damaged by moisture are restored to their original condition.
Delays in repairing water damage will lead to further ruin. As porous materials, like drywall, wood, and carpeting, absorb the moisture, the goods start to warp, rot, swell, and discolor. Mold infestations can quickly develop, often within 24 to 48 hours, when materials are left exposed to water.
When you are faced with a water damage emergency, consult ServiceMaster EMT. As the most reliable, local restorer for water damage crises, we are available to respond to water damage cleanup calls 24 hours a day. Los Angeles, California, home and business owners are urged to call for immediate service.