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It’s Time to Winterize!

Winter is on its way and this means time to winterize your home. This is especially important for those who live in Tehachapi, Lake Isabella, Pine Mountain, Shaver Lake and Oakhurst.

Winterizing can protect your investment and cut down on energy costs. Here are some tips for getting ready for the cold winter season.

1) Clean Your Gutters

Gutters can get full of debris and leaves. If they are not removed, the rain water and the snow melt water can get trapped. When the temperature cools, that water can turn into ice. The result is the gutters can start to pull away from the house. This can create overhead hazards.

2) Trim Dead Tree Limbs

When ice storms hit, trees branches encased with ice become extremely heavy. If those branches are dead or dying, there’s a good chance they?ll rip away from the tree and plummet to the ground causing damage to anything beneath.

3) Block Draft Leaks

According to EarthWorks Group, the average American home has leaks that amount to a nine-square-foot hole in the wall. You can get a lit incense stick to help you determine where drafts are in your home. Go to those most common draft areas like recessed lighting, window and door frames and electrical outlets. Once you determined those problem areas, here are some practical ways to help stop those leaks.

  • Weatherstripping

1) Doors: install strips on both the jam and the door itself and install a sweep at the bottom.

2) Windows: put foam or rubber stripping on the top/bottom on edges and seal sides with removable strips.

  • Insulate cans over recessed lighting in a ceiling.
  • Install outlet gaskets to electrical outlets.

4) Insulate Your Home

This cost little money and you will get the money back quickly.

  • In the U.S., you need 12 inches in the attic.
  • If layering insulation, don’t use ?kraft face? finish because it can cause moisture problems.

5) Wrap Your Pipes

Interior pipes will not typically freeze until exterior ‘temperatures fall below 20 degrees. Unprotected water pipes can be the cause of extensive structural water damage.

  • Use the turnoff valve to shut off your hose bibs and drain the lines.
  • Look for pipes that are not insulated: crawlspaces, basements or garages.
  • Wrap uninsulated pipes with premolded foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation.
  • Heating tape is a good ‘to use to be extra diligent.

6) Replace Missing Roof Shingles

Now is the time to replace missing roof shingles. Water that leaks through missing shingles are bad any time of the year. However, they?re especially problematic in the winter when water that enters your attic can freeze, cracking wood beams.

7) Check the Chimney

It’s easy to forget that the chimney must be checked before using the fireplace. It’s a good idea to have it ?inspected at least once a year.

  • Get a level 1 inspection.
  • Woodstoves should be swept more than once a year.
  • Buy a protective cap with a screen.
  • Cleaning should be performed for every 1/4 inch of creosote.
  • Keep damper closed when it isn’t in use to keep out cold air out.

8) Check the Furnace

The furnace has not been used for a while. Check it to make sure is it working. It’s normal for it to have a musty smell, but if the order continues for a long time shut down it down and call a professional. In fact, it’s best to have a professional check your furnace at least once a year.

  • Clean it out annually ? remove all the dust
  • Change the filters regularly ? check them monthly
  • Reusable electrostatic or electronic filters can be washed
  • A professional can make sure it’s not venting harmful exhaust into your home.

9) Window Check

Using storm windows during the cold season will provide an extra layer of protection and warmth for the home. Windows are pricey. So, if you don’t have it in the budget to replace them, you can do some weatherstripping or implement these simple tips.

  • Use caulk
  • Shrink wrap the windows
  • Use bubble wrap
  • Use heavy curtains

10) Fabricate

Cover your floors in throw rugs and runners for the winter months. You can also hang heavy insulating drapes in front of your windows to keep warm air in and the cold out where it belongs.

We hope you have a safe, warm and cozy winter season. Don’t forget, Alert Disaster Restoration is here for all your home restoration needs.