Garden Against Fire!

Landscaping for Wildfire ProtectionThe Los Gatos Library will host an online class, Landscaping for Wildfire Protection

Coming up Thursday, September 24th from 6-7pm Pacific.

Does your garden fight fires? With fire season growing longer and fiercer each year with devastating losses, you might be wondering what you can do to lower risks and protect your property against wildfires. Especially if you live near one of the Bay Area’s beautiful greenspaces! Join the Los Gatos Library with speaker Barbara Hunt, UC Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County, to learn about how wildfires spread and how to landscape to protect your home, from hardscapes to fire-resistant plants. This is a free lecture aimed at California homeowners but open to all.

For more information and the Zoom link, please view the event page.

Join the event on Facebook and set a reminder.

Want to learn more about fire in Los Gatos? Check out some of my other posts on this topic:

Los Gatos Fire Risk

Wildfire Evacuation Route Signs Being Installed (2016)

Fighting Fire With … Wine

A History of Los Gatos Fires and the Los Gatos Fire Department

Spring Is Here, So Take a Walk Around Your Home!

May 08, 2009

BinocularsIt’s easy to let months go by and never proactively have a look at the exterior of our homes to see if anything is amiss. The weather is great right now, so I suggest you set aside an hour or two to give your residence a visual once-over.  If you can do this twice a year, at least, you’ll have a far better chance of correcting any problems while they’re still small. 

What should you look for?

Outside, check under the eaves of your house to see if there are any brewing issues like wasp nests, water damage or leaks from the roof.  Does the wood appear to be warping, softening, or showing any unusual bulges or discoloration?  (If yes, consider contacting a roofer or pest control operator.)

How are the gutters?  Peeling paint can allow rust to happen and shorten the life of the gutters.  Keep the gutters free of debris.  RustOLeum may help extend the life of your gutters and comes in a wide variety of colors (and is findable at your local hardware store).

Step back from the house to get a view of your roof. It needs to be free of debris; if you have large trees nearby this may be an ongoing challenge!  Having pine needles, leaves, etc. accumulate on the roof can cause moisture to be trapped on the roof and accelerate aging, invite moisture problems like fungus and dry rot, and possibly induce leaks.   If it’s a cedar shake roof, are the shingles beginning to curl or split? For any type of roof, when was it last inspected?  If your roof is more than three or four years old, it probably needs some “tune up” work done – small repairs that will keep water from getting into your home.  A licensed, referred roofer can do small tune ups on the roof for a few hundred dollars and prevent problems from arising.  Plan to have it looked at by a professional every few years and it will last much longer!

Now focus on the chimney cap.  Do you have a spark arrestor and rain cap? If not, you need one. (I wrote about this on my other blog site: What