Everyone thinks it's a piece of cake to live through a winter in California, and for the most part, everyone is right. But your California property, like any other, is a lot easier and less costly to maintain if you take these few simple precautions (or, of course, call a professional to do them) before winter arrives:
Inspect your roof and eaves
Roof repairs are much easier to do before the rainy season. Any materials that need to dry or cure will do much better in the sunshine, and any workers who need to perform those repairs are much happier and less expensive if they're not getting rained on.
Have your chimney inspected and swept
Get professional help on this one. Soot buildup in the chimney and flue is a fire hazard, and like anything else, the maintenance is easier, faster, and often less costly when you do it more frequently.
Inspect and clear your gutters and downspouts
Buildup of leaves, dirt, and excess roofing materials (tar, gravel, shingle bits) can clog your gutters and downspouts. Aside from unsightly and potentially unsafe overflow, the backup can lead to unnecessary rust and costly premature need for replacement.
Inspect your siding or stucco for cracks or separation
Take a lap around your house and look for damage to the siding or cracks in the stucco, separation at the joints, cracks or deterioration of the caulking, or any other places that have become vulnerable to water intrusion. Pay close attention to any locations where trees, bushes, or ivy make contact with your house. Look for fading or cracking in the paint, and get help if you need it.
Get your furnace serviced
The least convenient and most expensive time to find out that your furnace needs work is during the peak times that you need it to keep you warm. Fall is a great time to check on it, change your filter, and test your duct work.
Inspect your drainage systems
Whether your drainage system leads to the ground to be filtered or directly to the storm drains, make sure everything is clear and ready for winter. You don't want to have to make those repairs in the rain.
Check your basement or crawl space for leaks
Take a look beneath your house for any tell-tale signs of moisture intrusion, standing puddles, or mold on the soil or lumber. Look for dry rot on the floor joists or any other indicators of unwanted weathering or wear.
These precautions will give you the peace of mind to enjoy the holiday seasons without worry, and help maximize the value of your California property. As always, if you have questions or need help with any of these items at your house, reach out to us in the comments or by phone.
- Jon Leon Guerrero