December 24, 2013 Lydia Gable

Winterizing Your Home

Winter-Proof Your SoCal Property

Are you pulling out your favorite sweaters and sorting through the holiday decorations already? Winter is just around the corner and although Southern California temperatures don’t dip as low as some parts of the country, homeowners should still make sure to Winterize their homes.

Suppose the heat doesn’t seem to warm the house or some rooms leak when it rain—which can be problematic as it can lead to mold—don’t ignore Winter-proofing your palace. If you wait until the Winter’s upon you to address these issues, you may find that you are cranking up the heater excessively leading to higher bills or having to get emergency and costly home repairs to weather-seal the roof, doors and windows. Winterize your home now so that when the season is in full swing, your home is properly maintained allowing you to simply curl up by the fire and relax—as it should be. Energy Upgrade California in Los Angeles County offers easy options for homeowners on their website to weatherize your home from rainy, windy and cold conditions. Energy Upgrade California suggests these weatherizing tips:

  • Prune Trees: Heavy rains and wind can knock leaves onto your roof and clog gutters.
  • Repair cracks: … repair cracks in ceilings or the foundation
  • Inspect the roof and foundation: … check the roof annually and repair loose shingles
  • Air sealing: For drafts…home air sealing is the least expensive way to see the greatest impact on your utility bill.

Safe and Warm All Winter Long

Safety checks are also a key aspect of Winterizing your home especially for homeowners with fireplaces, furnaces and gas-run appliances. Always check your smoke detectors. Make it a habit to check the batteries. As the holidays approach, decorative candles, dry Christmas trees, and space heaters can potentially be fire hazards. And although it is a law in California to have carbon monoxide detectors installed in all homes, check that all these devices have batteries (if they are battery operated) and are working properly. In a recent article titled Prevent a Disaster: Check Your Smoke Detector Now, George Maher, Agricultural Safety Specialist warns:

Always replace the battery when it is weak. Some smoke detectors are powered by the home’s electricity and don’t have batteries. These hard-wired detectors should also be tested frequently. If a hard-wired smoke detector is found to be unreliable, replace it immediately. It is good practice to have a battery-powered detector as a back up for the hard-wired detector.

Inside-Out

Now I know we all want to cuddle up inside when the days get shorter and the temperatures drop, but don’t forget to Winterize the outside of the home as well as the comfy interior. Be sure to keep your trees trim. If the trees hang too close to the roof or deposit debris into your gutters, it may not only hazardous but can be quite costly. So take the time to trim those trees. If the debris hasfallen already, clear the gutters to ensure that the downspout is unobstructed. Drain your sprinkler systems and shut off outdoor faucets. You may also install freeze-proof faucet covers as a protectant. And finally, something many homeowners forget, and suggests Trulia.com should be done seasonally:

If you have exterior lights that are controlled by timers, including low-voltage ones, check the timer settings. Change the “on” times to an earlier hour to reflect the earlier winter darkness, so that you always have adequate outside light available.

A Weather-Proof House is A Happy Home

If you are planning on buying a home in Southern California, now is a great time to view properties. If you buy now, not only will you be comfortably situated in your new dream home by the holidays, but the great thing about buying now is you can make sure it’s Winterized before you buy it. And it’s a buyer’s market! Call Lydia Gable at 818-383-4335 today for an appointment and to view new home listings.

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