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Prepare for winter weather

Updated December 10, 2013

Preparation for the winter season can help save you energy, money and worry.

Drainage system

To prevent water damage and pooling on rainy days, make sure your home's drainage system is clear. Sweep leaves and branches from roof drains, gutters and down spouts to prevent blockage, and check the drains around your landscaping and patio areas. Lot drainage should be directed away from your house and to the street, and should never be directed on to an adjoining property.

Swimming pools

Chemically treated water that overflows from your swimming pool during heavy rains can flood your home and damage landscaping. Problems can be prevented by lowering your swimming pool's water level; check your pool service company to learn how this is done.

Weatherizing

Insulating, caulking and weather stripping, and installing dual-glazed windows can help seal heat inside your home, helping to reduce your energy bills. If your attic has six inches or less of insulation, you probably need to add more. Many types of insulation are also available for ceilings, walls, floors, heating and cooling ducts and pipes. For safety, make sure you keep the insulation at least three inches away from lighting fixtures, motors, vents and heat-producing equipment. Check your local hardware store or lumber yard for advice about insulation and weatherizing products.

Roofing

To make sure your roof stands up to the elements, you may need to replace a few shingles or redo an aging roof entirely. Before doing any roofing work, check the City's reroofing guidelines and obtain a building permit. Staff with the City's Building and Safety Division can help you through the process.

Certain types of wood-shake materials that have achieved a Class A fire rating are allowed in Cerritos.

Residents building a new home or replacing more than 40 percent of an existing roof may now choose chemically treated fire retardant wood-shake or shingle systems that will resist fire for the life of the roofing material. The material must be rated as Class A by the International Conference of Building Officials.

Other permitted materials include heavy-butted asphalt shingles (also known as "dimensional" fiberglass shingles), synthetic tile, concrete tile, clay tile or metal-coated material which simulates the appearance of clay or concrete. All materials are required to have a minimum Class-C fire retardant rating and a minimum 30-year warranty.

Before beginning any re-roofing project or hiring a roofer, residents should stop by the Community Development counter on City Hall's second floor to obtain an application for their project. A roofing application form is also available on the City's website. The resident must sign the application and give it to his roofing contractor. The roofing contractor must bring the signed application to City Hall when he pulls a required roofing permit. The permit must be obtained by the contractor before any work begins.

Residents should also beware of door-to-door salespeople offering "tune ups" for wood shake roofs. The scam artists simply spray oil on the roof to make it look good, until the very next rain washes it away. The oil does not protect or restore the roof in any way.

For more information on roofing in Cerritos, call the Building and Safety Division at (562) 916-1209.

 

Contractors

If you plan to hire a contractor to complete roofing work, be sure to shop around and protect yourself! It is always a good idea to check with the State Contractors License Board for a contractor's history and license status and to check out references. For more information on selecting a reputable and qualified contractor, negotiating a clear contract, and preventing and resolving disputes, download a copy of "What You Should Know Before You Hire a Contractor," a free booklet that offers hundreds of tips for choosing a reputable roofer, at cslb.ca.gov.

If you have any questions, please call the Building and Safety Division at (562) 916-1209.

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