Batten Down the Hatches for Winter

Posted by Devon Shryock

Okay, we don’t mean to literally batten down the hatches. You are not living in a boat, after all.  But winter is coming. So, it’s a great time to get your home ready for the changes in temperature.

Here in San Mateo we don’t really get freezing temperatures or snow, but December through March is our rainiest time of year. Sometimes that rain turns into hail. Other times the rain comes down sideways due to the wind. With that in mind, here are some tips for getting your home winter-ready.

Prepare your home’s exterior 

Your home can always be shored up against the elements. The first step is to do a base - up inspection of your home’s exterior. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Are your downspouts pointed away from your home? You want any water to be shuttled away from the base of your home.
  • Is your siding weatherproof? Vinyl siding can become damaged more easily than fiber-cement siding and may get pocked or battered due to foul weather. This is why our siding division, Peninsula Siding Company, uses James Hardie Siding.
  • Do your gutters appear to be in good shape - not broken, damaged or full of leaves?
  • Is your roof solid? It’s important to ensure the material of your roof is intact with no parts missing or broken.

If the answer to any of the above questions is “no” then it is time for home maintenance or remodeling.

Your next step is to consider any improvements that you’d like or that should be made. As we noted above, you may want to improve the quality of siding you are using. Your home may also need a makeover in general with updated materials.

Get your home’s interior set up

No one likes water, mud, and leaves tracked into their home. Homeowners also tend to dislike losing the heat they pay for because of cracks or old materials. You have a number of options to spruce up the interior of your home:

  • Ensure your home’s weatherstripping is in place or replace it as needed. Weatherstripping is one a small but very effective barrier between the inside of your home and the chilly outdoors.
  • Place cozy (and washable) rugs in your foyer or by any doors which lead outside. Even if your home is carpeted you may prefer to add a few throw rugs to the decor over wintertime. Not only will your home look warmer, you will be able to catch any debris before they are tracked all through your house.
  • Close up your chimney when you aren’t using it. Your chimney is basically a giant vent into the great outdoors. Be sure to close the damper when it is not in use.
  • If you have a major air leak, you may need get a home inspection to find its source. There are a number of spots all around your home which may pull warm air out of your home. Some of these - like attic ventilation systems - need to remain in place. A professional will know exactly what needs to stay in place and what should be fixed.
  • Consider a remodel. Older homes are, by necessity, built with older materials. If there are a number of elements around your home you’d like to update, modernize, or restore, give us a call. We can help you from design all the way through the build.

This time of year can be hard on homes, but it doesn’t have to be hard on you. Take a look at your home, consider what needs to be done - and think about what you want done to make it your dream home. We are at your service!

Do you have a friend who is considering making their existing house into a dream home? Forward this article along to them. We’d love to help!

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