Posted by on Oct 27th, 2011 and filed under Community News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

“The sparrows are preparing for winter, each one dressed in a plain brown coat and singing a cheerful song.”
– Charles Kuralt 1934-1997

This quotation brings a smile and an image of a Walt Disney animation. Preparing for winter, before it actually arrives. is always preferable. Instinct-driven animals appear more capable of this yearly task than us humans. How often have we been witness to, or been that person on the roof, in the pouring rain, cleaning out the clogged rain gutters and downspouts? So, perhaps while the weather is still mild and dry, now is the time to winterize your home.

We spent last weekend in the eastern Sierras. A reminder of impending winter was visible on the higher elevations where more than a foot of snow fell three weeks ago. But like in the Crescenta Valley temperatures were comfortable. The aspens were incredible – a golden-yellow with tinges of red against the deep blue autumn sky. Our trees are just beginning to change color, but often don’t change completely until Christmas. With these conditions, it is easy to understand how we become complacent until winter is literally “on top of us.” The following are gentle reminders so you don’t get caught “with your umbrellas down!”

I consulted with a La Crescenta contractor at Foothill Construction for advice. He assured me being ready for the upcoming Santa Ana winds and winter rains could save homeowners both a lot of headaches and money. Our area is not considered a “hard winter” area like other parts of the country. Nevertheless, the following suggestions are generally “good home maintenance tips” no matter where you live. Some may require the help of a professional. Always be safe and use good judgment!

• Clean debris out of rain gutters after each windstorm.

• Keep roof clear of leaves and branches.

• Check roof for missing, cracked and curling shingles. Also for holes and bare spots.

• Don’t wait for Santa. Check chimney flue and clean out fireplace.

• Look for rotted, cracked or damaged wood around the house – trim, decks, doors and railings.

• Put away outdoor furniture or secure it. The wind is a master at relocation!

• Check your (non-wired) smoke alarms.

• Change air filters. And a few energy saving tips:

• Install ceiling fans. Tip blades to blow warm air down.

• Check weather stripping around doors and windows.

• Add more attic insulation, if needed.

• Wrap pipes and put blanket on water heater.

• Check gas and electric appliances. Gas Co. is free. SCE has energy saving ideas online.

• New windows are costly, but will help maintain indoor temperatures.

Good news! Expect ideal weekend weather conditions as you go about your winter preparations. No fun … well, at least carve a smile on your pumpkin! Our early week drizzle was replaced  by Santa Ana winds. By this weekend, temperatures will reach the upper 80s. First of the week brings cooler weather.

Just in: Whispers of rain mentioned for next week. Umbrellas?

Halloween Weather Alert: Daytime in upper 70s and night in low 50s. No full moon.

Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the  National Weather Service. Reach her at

Categories: Community News

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