Here in Southern California we are particularly lucky in terms of weather. On average we enjoy a tepid temperature of 70 degrees all year long. With the upcoming El Niño this winter we could be in store for less than normal drops in temperature. So far this year we have already enjoyed a little more rainfall than normal, a welcome change for our drought inflicted state, and the temperatures are definitely a little more crisp than they were last year. With this in mind its important to consider your homes plumbing and whether or not you are prepared for colder than normal temperatures.
One thing you can do to prepare your home for colder weather is to inspect the outer perimeter for any cracks or areas that could allow cold air to invade your home. Usual culprits of cracks include attic spaces, crawl spaces, around the foundation (particularly in a home with a raised foundation), around windows, and and door jams. Cold air is bad for your plumbing and can also reduce the functionality and efficiency of your homes heating system. Repairs any cracks and caulk around the windows and door jams.
Another thing you can do to prepare your home for colder weather is to clean out those rain gutters and down spouts. Rain gutters and down spouts serve to deter rain water away from your homes foundation. Poor drainage can lead to structural damage which can lead to all sorts of problems. Over time debris can build up in your gutters which can hinder their functionality. As a home owner you should make a point to clean out your gutter annually, especially before predicted heavy rainfall.
With colder weather ahead of us it would also be a good idea to have your HVAC inspected. If you don’t already schedule and annual inspection of your HVAC system, you should definitely schedule one this year to prepare your home for colder weather. The last thing you want is to really need to use your heater and find out that it isn’t working. Having your HVAC system inspected on a regular basis should be part of your routine home maintenance to ensure that your HVAC system is running correctly and efficiently.
One last thing you can do to prepare your home for colder weather is to have your plumbing pipes insulated. Proper insulation of pipes can help protect them from freezing. In areas where freezing temperatures are the norm, this is a pretty standard practice, but in Mediterranean climates like California this may not always be the case, leaving homeowners venerable if a extreme cold front settles in. For best practices have pipes that are exposed to the elements insulated. Most newer homes plumbing is not exposed but in older homes with a raised foundation, the plumbing could be venerable to cold drafts, these pipes should be insulated to protect them.
For the most part we enjoy wonderful weather all year long in Southern California, however its always best to prepare for the weather to take a turn for the worse. An ounce of prevention is worth its weight in gold. Take the steps today to prepare your home for colder weather today. To learn more about preparing your home for colder weather please contact Courtesy Plumbing today!