How to Prepare Your Home for Winter in California
It’s challenging to write about preparing California homes for winter when the season is so hard to define in the Golden State. It looks and feels a lot different to those who live in Southern Cal or near Death Valley than it does to residents around Truckee or Mount Shasta. Regardless of where you live and whether or not you experience seasonal changes, you can always improve your home and landscape at least once or twice a year.
Taking Care of Your Californian Home Results in Lower Home Insurance Rates
When your state is the size of – or bigger than – some countries, there’s likely to be a lot of climate variation. Nevertheless, we’ve come up with a few actions you should consider taking to “winterize” your home, regardless of where you live in California. Taking good care of your home results in less claims on your home insurance in California, which leads to better rates. Here are 9 ways to get your California residence ready for winter.
1. Tend to Your Trees to Reduce Possible Roof Damage in CA
Whether they’re dropping leaves, needles, snow, or ice this winter, your trees can cause a lot of shingle and gutter damage if allowed to grow too close to the home. That could mean moisture getting into your house and mold or dry rot setting in. Overhanging tree limbs can also come down in a windstorm or if packed with winter moisture. They can also host rodents who use the branches to get onto roofs and possibly into your home through the chimney.
In short, you should use the approaching end-of-year season as a reminder to check out your trees and prune them as needed.
2. Clean Out Your Gutters and Downspouts
Remember those overhanging tree limbs? Autumn in some parts of California means leaves falling and conifers (a fancy word for evergreen trees) losing needles wherever you live. Whether your winter season means snow and ice, or plenty of rain, it all just adds to the muck.
An annual cleaning out of your gutters and downspouts will make your winters less, well, “mucky.” It will also reduce the chance of leaking roofs or water damage from a spring thaw.
3. Check Out Your Security Light and Cameras in CA for Enhanced Protection
Stay safe. Regardless of where you live in the Golden State or elsewhere, winter means shorter days and longer nights. More darkness provides greater cover to suspicious parties.
Check out your lighting and surveillance technology while you still have enough daylight to change bulbs and batteries and make needed replacements or repairs. You and your loved ones will feel safer when you do. You may also qualify for a home insurance discount by installing safety features.
4. Clear Dead Growth to Help with Fire Danger
Prune your shrubbery and flower beds for the final time this year, and clear the grounds of debris and your plants of signs of disease. The more you do in this regard before winter sets in, the more eager you’ll feel to get your gardening on come glorious springtime.
Making sure your home is not surrounded by dead growth is one great way to decrease your fire danger in California.
5. Put Your Swimming Pool to Bed in the Colder California Climes
California is the seventh U.S. state, per capita, for the number of residential pools. This might be the saddest winterizing chore of all, but it’s necessary to clean your pool of leaves and debris and, depending on where you live, cover it for the colder months.
Adjust your filter to run fewer times to save energy, and, once again, await the glorious spring.
6. Get Your Furnace Serviced Before Winter
The average winter temperature in California is between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s…chilly. Certainly not like a Minnesota winter, but cold enough to make your family pretty uncomfortable if your furnace suddenly dies. Plus, in some parts of the state, it can get cold enough to freeze pipes — an even worse problem.
That’s why you need to get your furnace serviced by a certified technician well before the start of cold weather. Keep in mind that the longer you wait, the likelier it is that service people will be booked.
7. Weatherproof Your Windows and Doors in California
Remember what we wrote about those chilly California winters? Your personal space will feel less drafty and more energy-efficient if you remember to weatherproof it. That means you’ll save money in the long run as well as stay comfortable by keeping the California cold out.
As the temperature drops, stand in front of your windows and see if you sense cool spots. That’s where you need more weatherstripping. Moisture condensing on the inside glass can be a sign that you need new windows.
8. Test Your Interior Safety Equipment in Your California Home
Your family has smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers for good reasons. Winter is an ideal time to ensure all safety devices are working properly. The season can increase various risks, from holiday lighting and candles causing fires, to defunct fireplaces and furnaces leading to potentially deadly CO2 buildup.
Test the equipment and change batteries if needed in order to keep your family safe this winter.
9. Review Your Californian Homeowners Insurance Policy
This is something you should do on a regular basis anyway, so why not make it a part of your end-of-year activities? After all, conditions change over time.
For instance, do you now have valuable art, antiques, electronics, or collectibles you didn’t have last year? Are you wondering if your deductible is too high, or if you could lower your premiums by raising it? For that matter, do you even know or understand what’s in your homeowner’s policy? It’s not exactly pleasure reading, so it’s understandable if you don’t know it by heart. If you have any doubts or questions about what your home insurance policy covers, you owe it to yourself to consult your homeowners insurance agent. Your agent should be able to answer all your questions and point out possible gaps in your coverage or sensible ways of saving money with a new or tweaked insurance plan.
Now that you’re in better shape to greet the California winter, take a load off and enjoy your holiday season.
Get Ready for Winter in California with Affordable Home Insurance
At Cost-U-Less Insurance, it’s our agents’ responsibility to make sure you have home insurance coverage that’s both financially protective and affordable. Call us at (800) 390-4071 or get a quick home insurance quote online. You’ll also find a California Cost-U-Less location near you.