Last month, we shared our top tips for getting your home ready for fall. Now that winter is around the corner, it's time to winterize. Bay Area winters, while mild by most standards, also tend to be unpredictable. One day the sun will shine during lunchtime, then torrential rain will come down for three days straight and cause floods all around the Bay. Since we never quite know when the weather will turn, it's best to start preparing for those chilly nights and hefty downpours in November. Here are the biggest tasks to prioritize this month:
1. Insulate, Insulate, Insulate!
Just because it's cold outside doesn't mean that frisky winter air needs to cool things down indoors too. The threat here is all of the spots air leaks out of — and into — your home. That would include doors and windows, cracks in your walls, and even the vents in your crawl space (yes, you can and should close these during winter and make sure everything's properly encapsulated down there to avoid mold). Go around your home, checking for cool air entering through doors and windows, and add weatherstripping as necessary. You can patch up small holes in walls with a mesh patch. Bonus: you'll shut out vermin who are also searching for a cozy place to hide from the cold. Don't have the time or knowhow to do this yourself? Have a House Manager help.
2. Pamper HeatersWhatever you're counting on to keep you warm this winter, this is the time to check-in and make sure things are functioning correctly. You don't want to be stuck with a broken appliance on the coldest day of the year, desperately waiting for a pro to come out. Tune-up your furnace, hot water heater, boiler, radiator... heated Snuggie. (You get the idea!) And while you're at it, check that your generator is also in proper working order should you need it to power said heating appliances.
3. Maintain Fireplace & Chimney
A fireplace is perfect for adding a touch of "hygge" to cold winter days. But there's nothing cozy about a chimney that catches on fire. Yes — this is a real thing that can happen when residue deposited over a long time catches fire. If you can't remember the last time you had your fireplace or chimney cleaned, call a chimney sweep today. Then check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors for good measure.
4. Pressure Wash Deck
Already got your home all buttoned up in preparation for the cooler temps? This is also a great time to give your deck some TLC. Spring and fall likely left a layer of plant debris and mystery gunk on your deck. Those little twigs and pine needles may be a pain in the butt to remove from gaps between the planks, but this preventive cleaning is so much easier than dealing with dry rot. Just go easy with the power washing — too much pressure can damage your deck. Not sure what you're doing? No problem. Schedule a House Manager.
Staying ahead of home issues is key to saving time and money (not to mention stress!). Want more tips and tricks for maintaining your biggest investment? We have an entire guide dedicated to babying your home year-round. Get the 12-month Bay Area Maintenance Checklist.