How to prepare your WEST COAST HOME for WINTER!
A few helpful tips to prevent any Water or Fire damage:
Yard Preparation - Remove all outdoor hoses and drain the pipes to prevent any ruptures from freezing and potential backups into the house. If you have an in ground sprinkler system drain it all well. This can be done using a siphon technique or more simply by using an air compressor.
Inspect Your Window and Doors - There is nothing worse than having a cool draft flowing through your home in the winter. Visually inspect the interior and exterior of all your windows and doors for any gaps in the seals. These can be fixed by using caulking and weather striping as well as draft stopper that fit on interior doors; a rolled towel is also great hack that works for this too.
Attic/Crawl Space - You should check for any small animals making a home in the attic or crawl space (ie. raccoons, squirrels etc.) Check that the ventilation is properly fitted to allow air flow and nothing else. Check that there is adequate insulation and that it is spread evenly.
Clean Your Eavestroughs - Clean the leaves and debris from your gutters to prevent water back up. All downspouts should be cleared and pointed away from the buildings foundation so that water doesn’t pool. Water in the eavestroughs can cause problem when the weather reaches freezing. It can damage your soffit and fascia as well as create a dangerous falling hazard for ice.
Chimney Maintenance - If you have a chimney that is used regularly it is important to have it serviced. Inspect the exterior smoke stack for any damage, like cracks in the mortar and loose bricks and have they repaired accordingly. It is also a good idea to have the chimney sweep to remove and soot that may cause a fire risk. If the chimney is out of use then make sure the damper is closed or you use a chimney balloon to block unwanted heat escape.