More and more, fire seems to be setting its own seasonal schedule, making any time the right time to work on making your home fire-safe.
What is “home hardening?”
Home hardening is the process of making your home as fire-unfriendly as possible, making it “hard” for fire to cause damage. It can be a big job that can involve a lot of detail, so don’t rush it. In fact, you might consider a seasonal approach.
Not too hot and not too cool, spring is an excellent time for projects that require opening your home up to the elements for a brief period. Consider roof replacement/repairs, the boxing in of open corners where embers might collect (eaves/soffits), window upgrades/replacement, and fixing or upgrading your home’s siding as springtime projects.
Summer is way too hot to think about rooftop work. Plus, all the nailing and potential dropping of tools might generate sparks during a dangerously dry time of year. Summer is, however, a perfect time to take care of any brickwork repair in your chimney, metal flashing replacement/repair at the point where the chimney meets your roof, or chimney screening replacement/repair. And since a little indoor work can get you out of the heat, put garage hardening on your summer to-do list, as well.
Since you need to pay extra attention to your keeping your gutters clear in fall, that’s also the perfect time to make sure your gutters are getting the job done. If you decide to enclose those gutters, be sure to use a non-flammable product. And while you’ve got the ladder out, fall is also a good time to check on your home’s vents and replace them with WUI (Wildland-Urban Interface) compliant vents and/or reinforce them with metal mesh.
Given the low chance of snow in most of Butte County, winter can be a great time for some outside home hardening, such as making sure your deck is in fire-safe shape or perhaps even building a new one with non-combustible material. Getting fencing away from your house and/or replacing it with non-combustible fencing is another great winter idea.
Any time is a good time to harden your home.
Everything above is just a piece of the overall home hardening process. Visit CAL FIRE for more home-hardening resources.