It’s the middle of October and winter is fast approaching us here in San Diego, although it may not always feel like it.

Seeing as we here at ServiceMaster Absolute cover a large service area that stretches from Oceanside to El Centro, along with various places outside that area, we get calls for a variety of winter-related issues.

Suffice it to say, we often see that it definitely comes in handy to know what COULD happen at any time, no matter what part of town your home is in. So here are some helpful tips to prepare your San Diego home for another capricious winter season.

Build-up of Ice and Snow on Your Roof

Ice and snow build-up can cause seepage, wall and ceiling cracking, or in serious cases, roof collapses. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you take the necessary precautions to safeguard your roof against snow & ice build-up by:

  • Making sure the attic floor is properly insulated. This will not only help you save on your heating bills by keeping the heat where it should be (in your living space), but eliminate the possibility of ice dams since your attic will not become warm enough to melt the snow on the roof.
  • Keeping your attic well-ventilated to prevent moisture build-up in winter and let hot air out in summer.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

A large portion of your home’s plumbing is located in the outer walls of your home, leaving it exposed to colder air, resulting in frozen or burst pipes. It’s important that you protect your pipes by:

  • Making sure pipes in unheated areas like garages, crawl spaces, and attics are insulated and not exposed to cold temperatures. Foam insulation wrap or heat tape can be used to protect pipes in unheated areas.
  • Draining and disconnecting pipes from outdoor faucets.
  • Opening cabinet doors to let warm room air circulate to heat the pipes, or if necessary, consider using a heating lamp to warm pipes. Just make sure that the heating unit is placed at a safe distance.
  • Leaving faucets dripping when temperature is going to be significantly low. Moving water won’t freeze in the pipes, even if it’s flowing at a slow rate.
  • Installing a low temperature alarm that will trigger your home’s security system should the temperature inside your home fall below a pre-set level.

Poorly Maintained or Improperly Used Heating Systems

Fires, puff-back and smoke damage can result from the poor upkeep or improper use of heating systems like furnaces, fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, or even space heaters. Stay warm, cozy, and safe by:

  • Keeping a safe distance between flammable objects and space heaters.
  • Having your furnace or boiler professionally serviced annually.
  • Cleaning chimneys and flues on a regular basis.

Should Disaster Strike Your Home…

In the event of a loss, do your best to control the damage and move what possessions you can out of harm’s way. Then you should:

  • Contact your insurance agent or broker.
  • Contact ServiceMaster Absolute at (800) 677-6756.