Uncategorized November 12, 2014

Getting Ready for Winter in the Sierras

By Tim Hauserman

High Camp. Photo from Squaw Valley’s Facebook page.
Do you think that perhaps it might be time to drain the pool?


Hey we didn’t get a lot of snow last winter, and we’ve had a gloriously mild fall with an abundance of great hiking and mountain biking, so we don’t have to worry about getting our houses ready for winter, right? Ummm…wrong. In fact it was below freezing this morning as I write this and storms are definitely on the way. Here are a few things you need to do asap to protect your house and property:Walk around the yard. What do you see? Are you Ok with everything you see being buried under the snow? Now’s the time to get those kayaks, canoes, and lawn furniture into storage or at least underneath a deck.2) Landscaping system: Turn it off and drain the pipes. If the water remains in the pipes they might freeze and subsequently break. Do you have a hose still attached to the house? Disconnect and drain it.3) Learn how to shut the water off to your house, and make sure if you are not there, instructions are provided for others. Some individual fixtures such as dishwashers, washers etc..have separate water shut off systems allowing you to shut it off to the fixture if there is a problem, and still have water in the rest of the house. If you have an older home without a shut off valve, have one installed by a plumber.

4) Cover the air vents leading to the crawl space below your house. This will help prevent pipes from freezing.

5) Open cabinet doors under sinks to get heat to piping.  This is especially important with older homes.

6) Turn the heat on and keep the thermostat set above 50 degrees throughout the winter months. If you leave the house for an extended period of time, winterize the house by turning off the water and opening the faucets to drain all the water out of the pipes.

7) Prevent Bear Intrusions: Unfortunately, bears getting into homes in the area are now a year round concern. Close all window shades so bears cannot see your refrigerator. Remove any garbage from the house and garage and put it in the bear proof garbage container. If you are leaving for an extended time, remove smelly perishable food from the refrigerator. Be sure that all of the doors to your house are secure with strong hinges and deadbolt locks. Close the doors inside the house so that if the bear gets into part of the house, it will only focus on where the food is and not damage the rest of the house. Consider electric fencing designed for preventing bear intrusions, it has been proven to be very effective.