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Getting Your Property Winter-Ready in Lake Tahoe

As the nighttime temperatures begin to dip into the 30s and the first dusting of snow on the mountain graces our surroundings, it's a gentle reminder that winter in Lake Tahoe can arrive early. To ensure your property is well-prepared for the colder months, especially with the autumnal equinox behind us, it's time to tackle those annual household chores. While we can't cover every winter preparation task in one article, we'll highlight some of the crucial ones to keep in mind.

1. Snow Removal:

  • Snow removal is paramount, so ensure your snow blower is well-maintained and has fresh gasoline.

  • If you rely on a snow removal service, double-check your arrangements, solidify your contracts for the season, and set up snow stakes.

  • Clearing pine needles and debris from decks, driveways, and sidewalks before snowfall will make snow removal much more manageable.

2. Irrigation Systems:

  • Drain and shut off your irrigation system for the winter. Condo owners may have their homeowner’s association handle this, but single-family homeowners and many freestanding condo owners are usually responsible for their landscaping and irrigation systems.

  • Freestanding condo owners should confirm responsibility with their association manager to avoid unpleasant surprises.

3. Weatherproofing:

  • Inspect windows and doors for cracks, leaks, and drafts, addressing them promptly. Caulk and weather stripping are cost-effective solutions to reduce heating bills.

  • Consider upgrading to a programmable electronic thermostat if you still have a manual one.

4. Plumbing Precautions:

  • For absentee owners leaving for an extended period, consider draining interior plumbing and using antifreeze in the toilets to prevent frozen pipes during power outages or heating system failures.

  • Maintain an interior temperature of at least 50 to 55 degrees in vacant houses to safeguard against frozen pipes.

5. Roofline Safety:

  • Check your heat tape system if your roofline extends over sidewalks or driveways. If you don't have heat tape, consider installing it to prevent falling snow and ice hazards.

  • Keep gutters and slotted drains clear of leaves and debris to ensure proper snowmelt runoff and prevent dam formation.

6. Wildlife Deterrence:

  • Lake Tahoe's winter months can tempt various critters to seek warm and sheltered spaces. Inspect your property for openings that may attract animals and seal them.

  • Avoid leaving trash or food in your garage, as it can attract bears and other wildlife looking for sustenance during the winter when natural food sources are scarce.

7. Winter Car Essentials:

  • Ensure you have a sturdy snow brush and gloves readily available to clear your windshield without having to wrestle with a frozen car door.

  • Be prepared for winter travel with additional warm clothing, water, a blanket, a shovel, and a flashlight in your car. It's wise to have these essentials on hand in case you get stuck in a snowstorm or encounter delays on the mountain highways during your trips.

Preparing your property for winter ensures a safe and comfortable season ahead in our beautiful Lake Tahoe community. For a comprehensive homeowner's winter checklist, click below to download.

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