Preparing Your Home for Winter With Fall Maintenance: Part 1

by James Florence


While the Bay Area isn’t subject to the extreme conditions found in other states, winter weather can nonetheless take a toll on local homes. Photo: American Home Renewal, Inc. (2014)

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. Not only can weatherproofing prevent costly water intrusion issues, it can also improve home energy efficiency by keeping in the heat and lowering utility costs. Here are a few important proactive steps:

Have your roof professionally inspected to identify potential leaks. In addition to checking the condition of roofing shingles, a professional will inspect vulnerable areas such as the flashings around skylights, pipes and chimneys.

Maintain your home’s drainage system. When gutters and downspouts become clogged, it can lead to expensive repairs, so clean these areas before and during the rainy season. Also, to prevent issues with standing water, make sure the soil around your home is properly graded.

Caulk cracks and install weather stripping around windows and doors. Weather stripping is a simple, cost-effective way to deal with air leaks, which can account for a significant amount of home energy loss. Autumn is also a great time to upgrade your attic insulation, which is one of the cornerstones of home energy efficiency.

Read Part 2 of Preparing Your Home for Winter with Fall Maintenance.

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