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Preparing For Winter In Mammoth Lakes, CA

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Home Preparations

    Winter Preparation for Mammoth Lakes, CA

  • Shrub Control & Pruning: This is the time to prune back shrubs, bushes and trees. If you are one of the lucky people who owns a condominium, you probably wont have to worry about doing the yard work yourself. If you are a homeowner, make sure you have all the right tools, and be safe. If you want to save some time and effort contact a Mammoth Lakes Landscaping Company for help.
  • Drain Sprinkler Systems: If you have irrigation systems, drain them out so they don’t freeze and burst. For outside spigots, shut them and drain them. Burst pipes can cost a lot to fix and we both know you don’t need any more headaches.
  • Clean The Gutters: Cleaning the gutters once the leaves and pine needles have fallen, and before the snow has fallen is important. The snow will pile up and could take out your gutters if you are not careful. Also consider installing leaf guards on the gutters or extensions on the downspouts to direct water away from the home.
  • Tune Up The Furnace: Getting a tune-up on your Boiler or Furnace can be important for a number of reasons. It adds years of life to a heating system. Also you will spend less money with a furnace in top condition. Also make sure you change the filters when you switch from cooling to heating. It is very easy to do and the air will flow easier, putting less stress on your furnace and saving you money.
  • Inspect Chimneys: Now is the time to have them inspected and, if necessary, clean them. This is for those people who use a wood stove or fireplaces. Get them cleaned and get them checked out by a pro.
  • Weather Stripping: Put your hands near windows and doors and feel for those cool drafts. What I find is, doors are some of the biggest culprits. So put a nice door sweep there. It’s not where people are thinking about but a lot of air comes in around them. Windows can be insulated with easy to install weather stripping products. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 10 percent of the air that leaks out of a house exits through the windows. Caulk around window frames and apply weatherstripping between the sash and window frame to eliminate air leakage. Tension seal and magnetic types of weatherstripping are durable and effective for double-hung windows. For casement and sliding windows, apply self-adhesive V-strip weatherstripping to the side of a clean, dry sash or window jamb. Measure the length you need, cut the V-strip to fit, then peel off the paper backing while pressing the strip in place.
  • Inspect The Roof: Seal air leaks. Shutting down air leakage is probably going to have the biggest effect, and it’s the kind of thing you can do incrementally. The second would be adding insulation. If you have R18 insulation value, turn it into R36. This is where your energy audit will be helpful. And the third is making sure your roof is vented properly, if your house is designed to have a vented roof. Make sure your soffit vents aren’t blocked, your gable vents are open. Check flashing to ensure water cannot enter the home.
  • Energy Audit: If you’ve been putting off a home energy audit, here’s the time to do it. A lot of what they’re going to be telling you is applicable to this time of year, to protect you against a cold winter. And what’s nice about doing it now is they use an infrared gun to detect heat leakage, and it’s a lot easier getting a good reading when it’s cooler outside.
  • Change Air Filters: Check your the air filter in your heating system frequently. A dirty air filter slows air flow, forcing your heating system to work harder and waste energy. Energy Star recommends changing your air filter at least every three months.
  • Seal HVAC Ducts: Ducts that move air to and from a forced air furnace, central air conditioner, or heat pump can waste energy. Sealing these ducts can improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as 20 percent. Start with the attic, basement, or garage.
  • Insulation: One of the most basic ways to make your home more energy efficient is by adding insulation. Energy typically escapes through a house’s top floor or attic, so add more insulation there to save. Also make sure to insulate piping. To minimize the possibility of water freezing in your plumbing pipes causing them to burst, wrap each pipe in a blanket of foam insulation. Check hardware stores for these foam tubes, which have a slit on one side. Just cut the tube to the length you need, pull the slit open, and push the tube onto the pipe. If the slit doesn’t have self-adhesive edges, use duct tape to secure it.
  • Install Storm Windows: Install storm windows to reduce air leakage year-round. You can find storm windows with vinyl, wood, or aluminum frames and glass or plastic panes. Glass is heavier but longer lasting and clearer than plastic, which scratches easily and yellows over time. Interior storm windows are generally mounted inside the window jambs or flush with the molding. They’re easy to install but must be removed when you want to open the windows to let in fresh air. An exterior double-track or triple-track storm window is permanently installed on the outside of the window, and the lower half of the window moves in a separate track from the screen so you can lower or raise it to control air flow.
  • Secure Crawl Spaces: Rake away all debris and edible vegetation from the foundation. Seal up entry points to keep small animals from crawling under the house. Tuckpoint or seal foundation cracks. Mice can slip through space as thin as a dime. Inspect sill plates for dry rot or pest infestation. Secure crawlspace entrances.

Winter Driving

    Winter Driving in Mammoth Lakes, CA

  • Inspect Your Vehicle: Make sure your brakes, windshield wipers, defroster, heater and exhaust system are in top condition. Check your antifreeze and be ready for colder temperatures. You may need to add concentrated windshield washer fluid to the windshield washer fluid reservoir to prevent an icy windshield.
  • Inspect Your Tires: Check your tires. Make sure they are properly inflated and the tread is in good condition.
  • Always Carry Chains: Make sure they are the proper size for your tires and are in working order. You might want to take along a flashlight and chain repair links. Chains must be installed on the drive wheels. Make sure you know if your vehicle is front or rear wheel drive.
  • Be Prepared: Other suggested items to carry in your car are an ice scraper or commercial de-icer, a broom for brushing snow off your car, a shovel to free you car if it is “snowed in”, sand or burlap for traction if your wheels should become mired in snow and an old towel to clean your hands. It is also a good idea to take along water, food, warm blankets and extra clothing. A lengthy delay will make you glad you have them. If you have a cellular telephone, pre-load the Caltrans Highway Information Network (CHIN) phone numbers for convenient, updated road conditions.
  • Carry A Map: Weather conditions may warrant detouring traffic from the main roadway. It is strongly suggested that drivers always keep an updated map containing the areas of travel.
  • Carry An Extra Key: Put an extra car key in you pocket. A number of motorists have locked themselves out of their cars when putting on chains and at ski areas.

There are a lot of fun Winter Activities in and around Mammoth Lakes. Make sure that you stay safe & healthy no matter what you are doing. Stay hydrated, well fed, be careful, use safety equipment when necessary but above all have fun and enjoy Mammoth. Stay up-to-date on Winter in Mammoth on our Mammoth Real Estate Blog. Thanks for reading, we hope you found this to be helpful and informative. Come back soon for more valuable info like this.

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