Winter is Coming: Getting Ready for the Bay Area's (Mild) Winters

Though the Bay Area is known for its changeless weather, the region does have a unique kind of winter. As the days grow shorter, the near constant sunshine will give way to cool, damp days and rain. Read on for tips on transitioning your home to the winter season.

On this page:
Preparing Your Home for Winter with Fall Maintenance
Making Your Home Ready for Wet Weather
Diamond Certified Experts: Keeping in the Heat
Prevent Leaks with a Seamless Gutter System
Commencing the Winter Wind-Down in Your Bay Area Garden
Video: Installing a New Thermostat
Winter Drainage Tips
Lower Utility Bills with Triple-Pane Windows
Air Vents: The Key to a Properly Functioning Furnace

            

Photo: Five Star Windows, 2016 

PREP WORK
Preparing Your Home for Winter with Fall Maintenance

winter roof
Before the rains start, be sure to have your roof professionally inspected. Photo: Northern California Roofing Co., 2016

Summer has given way to autumn, and people throughout the Greater Bay Area are starting to get ready for the upcoming holiday season. However, amidst your fall decorating and holiday shopping, it’s important to remember another key seasonal measure: preparing your home for imminent winter weather. With its chilly temperatures and heavy rainfall, winter can take a toll on any home, but with proper preparation, you can fortify yours against the elements and avoid common problems.

Weatherproof your exterior
Whether to keep out water or cold air, weatherproofing your home is a vital preparatory measure during winter...
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RAINS
Making Your Home Ready for Wet Weather

winter san francisco roof rains
With the potential for downpours in the coming months, now is the time to make sure your home can withstand the rain. Photo: Tom Lee Roofing, Inc., 2016

Schedule a roof inspection. Have a qualified roofer check the condition of your roof and repair any damaged or missing shingles. Likewise, a professional will make sure there’s adequate leak protection in vulnerable spots like skylights, pipes and chimneys. Remember, components like flashings, underlayment and leak barriers are just as crucial as shingles when it comes to guarding against the elements, so consider replacing these while your roof is being serviced...
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STAYING WARM
Diamond Certified Experts: Keeping in the Heat

winter insulation home
By keeping conditioned air from escaping the living area below, attic air sealing greatly improves home energy efficiency. Photo: Alcal Specialty Contracting, Inc., 2016

Due to the cold, blustery and (fingers crossed) wet weather, winter may limit our enjoyment of the outdoors, but it also affords us the pleasure of creating warm, cozy indoor environments. However, keeping a home warm and well-lit isn’t cheap, especially if it lacks proper insulation, which is why many Californians pay a hefty price for in-home comfort. To address this, we’ve asked five Diamond Certified Experts to give some tips for keeping in the heat during this holiday season.

1. Eliminate minor sources of air loss: Dustin Cook of D. Cook Construction
When bolstering your home’s resistance against the cold, your first inclination may be to implement a major measure like window replacement or adding attic insulation…
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GUTTERS
Prevent Leaks with a Seamless Gutter System

winter gutters seamless
The angled shape of seamless gutters allows for rain to travel through them with less noise. Photo: Gutter Pros, 2016

Seamless gutters have become increasingly popular with homeowners in recent years, mostly because they can be customized to fit any roof line and are specifically designed to prevent leaks. “Gutters that have seams and joints expand and contract with changes in the weather, which can create leaks that cause a lot of damage,” explains Omar Calderon, owner of Gutter Pros in San Jose...
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Find a Diamond Certified Company to Help You Prepare for Winter
WINTER GARDENS
Turn, Turn, Turn: Commencing the Winter Wind-Down in Your Bay Area Garden

winter garden bay area
Fall is the time to plant bulbs, such as daffodils and tulips, that will bloom in spring. Photo: Gardens of the Wine Country, 2016

Most Bay Area residents enjoy the year-round temperate climate, but it’s gardening enthusiasts who reap some of the greatest benefits. In addition to having an exceptionally broad horticultural palette from which to draw, local gardeners have the advantage of an extended timeline in which to grow and harvest. Even when midwinter temperatures eventually put the freeze on the bulk of gardening activities, there are numerous ways for gardeners to stay productive. Here are some helpful tips for maintaining your garden during the winter season:

Keep harvesting winter-friendly crops. While most crops go into dormancy once the cold weather settles in, there are several that continue to produce...
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THERMOSTATS
Installing a New Thermostat

 

DRAINAGE
Winter Drainage Tips

by Vic Cvijanovic, a Diamond Certified Expert Contributor and owner of Pacific Landscaping

winter garden drainage california
To avoid a drainage disaster, you’ll need to inspect some key areas of your home before the rainy season sets in. Photo: Pacific Landscaping, 2016

Due to the rainy weather, one of the biggest concerns during the winter is proper drainage. To prevent water and/or structural damage to your home, you should inspect two key areas before the season begins:

Gutters
The single most important measure you can take before winter is to make sure your gutters and downspouts are clean and functional...
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WINDOWS
Lower Utility Bills with Triple-Pane Windows

windows winter home
Triple-pane windows will help your home be more energy-efficient and also reduce noise from the outside. Photo: Smart Energy Solutions, 2016

If you think triple-pane windows are only worthwhile for homeowners who live in cold, blustery locales, you might be interested to learn that houses in warmer locations can benefit as well. “Actually, triple-pane windows have even bigger effects in warmer areas,” says Michael Easley, sales director of Smart Energy Solutions in West Sacramento. “When sunlight hits windows, the rays penetrate the glass and heat comes through. Double-pane glass can keep out a certain amount of heat, but if you add another chamber, you’ll get a much higher heat resistance and better results when it comes to keeping your home cool.”
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AIR VENTS
Air Vents: The Key to a Properly Functioning Furnace

by Kent Penning, a Diamond Certified Expert Contributor and owner of Cold Craft, Inc. 

air vent heating winter
To keep your furnace running safely, make sure at least 60 percent of your home's air vents open at all times. Photo: Cold Craft, Inc., 2016

Everyone wants to save money on their heating bills during the winter, and some people try to accomplish this by closing the air vents in certain rooms throughout their homes. While this strategy can potentially save money, it can also backfire because it introduces the risk of overheating the furnace...
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