Maybe your clients moved to California to get away from chin-deep snow. But that doesn’t mean there’s no need to prep their sun-drenched residence for winter.
Here are some basic tips that can help avoid repairs or excessive heating bills from the inclement weather that does descend on the Golden State on occasion:
Examine the exterior. Check for cracks in the siding or peeling paint. Look at the roof for broken tiles or missing shingles. After it rains, take a walk around the house to look for signs that water isn’t draining away from the house properly, or for signs of damaged gutters.
Clean out the gutters. Home maintenance professionals call this chore one of the most important. Gutters direct water away from the siding and roof. A clogged gutter can lead to roof leaks or ice dams in colder weather. Make sure the gutters are cleaned of any leaves and other debris–but if your home is surrounded by trees, you might want to wait until all the leaves have fallen!
Check the windows and doors. Add weather stripping or caulk where cold air is seeping in from around windows or doors. This could make a noticeable difference in utility bills.
Evaluate the heater. Contact a plumber or furnace repair company to prepare the boiler or furnace before the weather turns cold. They’ll clean the equipment and ensure it is working properly.
Check the chimney. A dirty chimney can affect the air quality in a home and even pose a potential fire hazard. The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends having a chimney inspected annually, cleaning it as needed.
Tend to the pipes. Drain exterior faucets and shut them off before the first freeze, if you’re in the higher altitudes in the San Gabriels. On cold nights, maintenance experts also recommend opening cabinets beneath the sinks to let warm air in, if you believe it’s going to freeze. Also, let a slow drip of water run through them. Pipes must be kept warm.