March 1, 2013
Fortunately for most California homeowners, it is not necessary to be concerned with snow during the winter. However, the winter months bring rain and cold and it is important to protect one’s house from the elements. A checklist of protection tips will help you prepare your house for the Winter.
1. Clean the rain gutters. Clogged gutters can create many problems. Use a handheld blower to remove loose leaves and twigs. After you have cleaned the gutters use a garden hose to flush the gutters. While flushing the gutters you can see how well the water is draining and notice if there are any areas of standing water.
2. Trim dead tree limbs. Winds can cause weak trees or branches to break, possibly damaging your home, car, or even injuring someone walking on your property.
3. Seal the driveway. Repair cracks in driveways with a sealant to prevent rain from seeping in.
4. Disconnect garden hoses. If the temperatures drop to the freezing point it is possible for water inside the hose to become frozen which will result in damage.
5. Clean and cover patio furniture. Patio furniture lasts longer if stored during the winter season.
6. Fertilize the lawn and rake leaves. Late fall is a an excellent time to fertilize your lawn with a slow-acting fertilizer.
7. Apply weather stripping to windows and doors. Weather stripping prevents air infiltration around doors and windows by eliminating gaps between the frames and the moving parts when they are closed. The U.S. Department of Energy advises homeowners to choose a type of stripping that will withstand the friction, weather, temperature changes and wear and tear associated with its location. Adding weather stripping can help reduce wasted energy and lower your heating costs.
8. Inspect your chimney. Have your chimney inspected before you use your fireplace. It is not necessary to have the chimney swept every year but it should be inspected for any debris that could cause a fire.
9. Change smoke detector batteries. Test or change the batteries in your smoke detectors. Detectors will help warn you of fires related to the usage of your fireplace, wood-burning stove, and heaters.
10. Review your homeowners insurance policy to see what your policy covers. Does it protect you in case of floods, storms, etc. The licensed agents at Dave Terpening Insurance Agency, Inc. are available to help review your homeowners policy. Call 1-800-585-1776 to speak to a licensed agent.