5 More Tahoe Property Owner Tips to prepare for winter
October is slipping by and last week we had the big wake-up call with snow on the beaches of Lake Tahoe. While it quickly melted away and temperatures warmed up, everyone knows that these snow-free days are numbered. It won’t be long until the next snow fall will stick around until next spring. So here are five more Tahoe property owner tips to prepare for the upcoming winter season.
1.) Deck and Patio Furniture. It’s time to put away the outdoor seasonal deck, lawn, and patio furniture. Most outdoor furniture is not built for our Tahoe winters, so storing away this furniture is the best way to preserve it. If it needs to stay out all season, be sure to cover it and keep it away from the roof line and from pine trees where snow will shed, or drop off and potentially damage your furniture.
2.) Wood Storage. For those Tahoe owners that will use their wood burning fireplaces, or wood burning stoves this winter, if you haven’t stored your wood, now is the time to do that job. If your storage area is uncovered, then covering your wood piles with tarps will help keep your wood dry and make starting your winter fires that much easier.
3.) Photographs. As you get your Tahoe property ready for the upcoming winter, be sure to take photographs of your property – inside and out. There are two reasons to do this. The first is just in case there should be a problem at the property during the winter. For example, a pine tree falls down on the home, snow slides through a window, a water pipe breaks, or you have a bear break-in. Hopefully none of these things will happen, but if they do, you’ll have current photos for your insurance company. The second reason to have current photos is if you decide to put your Tahoe home on the market to sell it this winter, or early next spring you’ll have photos of your home with out snow for your marketing program.
4.) Snow Poles. It’s time to put up the snow poles in the driveway, by the bear box, wood pile, and any other place you’ll want to keep clear, or locate once the snow begins to fall. For those that are new to Tahoe, a snow pole is a metal, wood, or plastic pole that is 8 – 10 feet high. These poles are used to locate items under the heavy snow and guide the snow removal company that plows the driveway and clears pathways.
5.) Check Your Tires and Snow Chains. Safety is always a priority for everyone. So it’s time to get your vehicle ready for the Tahoe winter season. One of the big items to check on your vehicle are the tires. If you have all-weather tires, be sure to check them – air pressure and for wear. If you have studded snow tires, you are allowed to put them on from November 1 through May 1 each year. If you use chains on your tires, get them back into your vehicle. Check them for broken links and make sure they fit your tires.
For those of you that missed the first 10 Tahoe property owner tips to prepare for the upcoming winter season, here they are again.
1) Furnace Check-Up. If it’s been a while since your furnace had a check-up, now is the time to set-up an appointment. No time for an appointment? At least make sure you replace the air filter, or clean it. Make sure the cold air return is clear of furniture and clean. Remember to turn your thermostats “on” and set for at least 50 degrees.
2) Propane Tank Levels. If your home is heated by propane, check your tank levels and re-fill as necessary. This is also a good time to make sure there are snow poles in place marking where your tank is located at.
3) Foundation Vents. If you remembered to open your foundation vents to air out your craw spaces, now is the time to close them up to prevent pipe freezing later in the season.
4) Snow Removal Service. Have you set up your snow removal service for the upcoming 2011-2012 season? It’s time to get your annual contract. If you weren’t happy with last years’ snow removal service, now is the time to shop around and line-up someone new.
5) Snow Shovels. As you store away the summer seasonal items, now is the time to locate your snow shovels, and re-stock the snow melt.
6) Outdoor and Indoor Lights. Check all of your outdoor and indoor lights to make sure they are working. Replace burned out light bulbs now while access is easy. If lamps are on timers, adjust them so they turn on earlier for the shorter days.
7) Flashlights. The winter weather will bring power outages. Check all flashlights to make sure they are working. Replace old batteries and place the flashlights where you can easily find them. If you don’t have a flash light in your car, this is a good time to put one in.
8) Smoke detectors. It’s easy to forget to change out the batteries in your smoke detectors, until they start to chirp. If you know you won’t be in Tahoe for the fall-back time change, replace the batteries in your smoke detectors now and change your timing to when you bring in the deck patio furniture and when you take it out!
9) Carbon Monoxide Detectors. As of July 1, 2011, California state law changed, and all homes should have a carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home. If you haven’t installed them, do so now.
10) Tahoe Fun. One of Tahoe’s best kept secrets are the fabulous fall days. The summer crowds are long gone, but Tahoe is still amazing. Before the snow falls make sure to spend at least one weekend in Tahoe and have some fall fun!