Winter Home Maintenance Tips

Unlike most parts of the country, we really don’t need to do a ton of prepping for Winter here in San Diego. Still, the temperature does drop significantly and most people start to turn on their heaters. Here are some tips for getting your San Diego home prepped for Winter and the Holidays.

1) Inspect your Holiday decorations: Putting up Christmas lights on your house is a fun way to get in the Holiday spirit, but it can turn into a nightmare if you don’t take a few simple safety precautions. Check your lights for any kind of wear-and-tear. Exposed or frayed wiring is a huge red flag. Also, make sure you keep your Christmas tree well-watered, as a dry tree is more likely to catch fire.

2) Keep the heat in: Make sure you inspect your HVAC filter before you kick-start it, and you’ll want to replace that filter every month if you’re running your heater on a daily basis. Also, check on your insulation. Anywhere where air can get in from the outside should be properly sealed. Check windows, doors and plumbing entering your home and make sure they’re all sealed up well.

3) Put together an emergency prep kit: You’re not going to ever have to worry about a snowstorm knocking out power in San Diego. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared for other emergencies. Put together a kit full of bottled water, non-perishable food, flashlights, blankets, batteries & back up power sources and a first aid kit. Remember to replace the bottled water every 6-12 months.

4) Inspect your fireplace and chimney: A thrifty alternative to running the heater is lighting a fire. Just make sure that you properly inspect your fireplace and chimney before using it for the first time in nearly a year. You can inspect the chimney yourself for creosote, which builds up in the chimney when a fire does not have enough oxygen. Shine a flashlight at the top of the firebox, in the smoke chamber and around the damper. Check the flue as well. You may also want to pay for a chimney sweep if you haven’t done so in years. Lastly, when you light a fire, make sure the dampers are open in the bottom of the firebox (if provided), otherwise consider opening the nearest window slightly. This will prevent the fire from drawing warm air out of the rest of the house and replacing it with cold air.

Unlike most areas of the country, Winter isn’t a bad time to remodel in San Diego. If you’re thinking of remodeling your kitchen  bathroom, living room, or any area of your home, leave us a note here. You can also call Greyhound directly at 800-568-7108.

Prepping Your Home For Winter

We all know San Diego has perfect weather, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get cold in the Winter. In fact, the average low in January is a chilly 49 degrees, and the record low is a frosty 29! Still, with average highs in the mid-60s during Winter, San Diegans have it relatively easy. That being said, there are a few things you can do to prepare for the coming Winter.

1) Prepare Your Fireplace: Make sure that you have some sort of functioning cap or screen at the top of your chimney to keep rodents and birds out. You’ll also want to inspect the damper to make sure it opens & closes properly. You’ll also want to make sure that if your chimney hasn’t been swept in a while you schedule a professional to come out. This depends on how often you use your chimney, but you definitely need to inspect it thoroughly on your own at least once a year, ideally in the Fall.

2) Inspect Your Furnace: Consider hiring an HVAC professional or inspecting your furnace on your own. This includes the ducts. You’ll want to stock up on furnace filters, and move anything that’s flammable away from your furnace. Inspect your hot-water heater, as well as your hot-water radiator, if your home is heated by one.

3) Examine Your Roof, Gutters & Downspouts: Look for worn roof shingles or damaged flashing. Clean out the gutters and use a hose to wash any leftover debris down the downspouts. You may also want to install leaf guards for your gutters and downspouts, which will save you the time and hassle of cleaning the gutters in the future.

4) Examine Windows & Doors: Make sure all exterior entry points to the house around windows and doors are properly sealed. Install weatherstripping around your doors to prevent cold air from entering your home. Caulk around window sills, and replace or prime/paint any exposed or rotting wood around windows and doors. You’ll also want to investigate areas where pipes are entering your home to ensure everything is properly sealed.

5) Prepare Your Yard: This isn’t quite as involved as most Mid-Westerners or East Coasters’ Winter prepping, but still important. Trim all tree branches near your home or electrical wiring.  Frost is not a problem in San Diego, but you should still consider planting some cold temperature flowers or veggies just to be safe. Consider planting brocolli, lettuce, mustard and cabbage, which are frost-tolerant, or beets, carrots, spinach and kale, which are unaffected by frost. Finally, inspect your deck and driveway. Make sure both are properly sealed and protected.

6) Replace Batteries in Smoke Detectors & Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors: The rule of thumb is to change your smoke detector batteries every 6 months. We recommend doing so during each Daylight Savings’ switch. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they work.

If you have any other tips for preparing your home for Winter in San Diego, feel free to leave us a comment below. If you’re considering a home remodel then leave Greyhound a note here or call us at 800-568-7108.