Do you really need to winterize your home in the Bay Area? The answer is a resounding “Yes” from most contractors. When I first moved here, over 30 years ago, it seemed that the seasons were all very mild, but the longer I live here, the more I notice the differences. Maybe it’s climate change and maybe it’s just me, but there is no doubt that are some things you should be doing to prepare your home for the winter. It’s going to rain, that’s for sure. And it may well rain a lot. There is no doubt that water is a home’s biggest enemy so there are a number of action items here.
If you need a recommendation, I can give you a couple, and they are not expensive. If your roof is not water-tight, it’s a big deal. Just curing a leak will rarely fix your problems. Water getting into the roof space can cause all kinds of problems suche as fungus damage and even mold. Not something you want to deal with after the fact!
Similar to the roof, gutters that are full of debris just don’t work. And if they overflow, you can anticipate similar problems to a leaking roof. And while your at it, make sure that the down-spouts are doing their job and getting any water well away from the house.
Appliances like water heaters fail when you need them most. And bearing in mind that the life expectancy of traditional gas water heaters is less than 10 years, it makes a lot of sense to check them out before the cold weather. Loook for any signs of leaks. Check the water pressure (if its above 80psi, leaks are more likely to happen), and also the tempertaure. Around 120 degrees Fahrenheit is generally recommended. You should also drain and re-fill a water heater periodically, and now would be a great time to do that.
Many people make a point of carrying out these maintenance issues at the same time we put the clocks back an hours. But unfortunately, a lot of folks don’t bother until something goes wrong. The cost is minimal and the potential increase in safety is priceless.
None of these tasks seem particularly arduous but there is no doubt that if they are ignored for too long, costly repairs will be on the horizon. Do it soon, and you will be able to sleep easy at night!