In mid-August, the Climate Prediction Center issued an El Niño advisory stating “there is
a greater than 90% chance that El Niño will continue through Northern Hemisphere
winter 2015-16, and around an 85% chance it will last into early spring 2016.”
In the midst of a severe drought that California is experiencing, this seems like good
news. However; heavy rains can cause extensive damage. Now is the perfect time to
get your home ready for a probable longer and wetter season ahead. Here are some
helpful, easy tips to get you started:
- Windows: Remove dirt, leaves, and pine needles in the tracks with a soft brush
or vacuum. Don’t forget sliding doors. Test to make sure they close properly and
securely. Replace any chipped caulking around doors and windows to prevent
water from seeping in.
- Gutters: Clear debris from gutters as well as the down spouts. Make sure your
down spouts don’t leave pools of water around your home. Pieces of roof tile in
the gutters are a sign that your roof needs an inspection.
- Trees and shrubs: Trim dead branches that can come down during storms. Light
pruning is helpful as it allows wind to pass through the trees rather than put
pressure against them. Cut away any shrub branches that hit against your house.
These can cause wear and tear on the exterior of your home.
- Exterior paint and finishes: Your home can be vulnerable to interior water
damage from weathered paint and stain. Prolonged rain can soak into interior
walls. If there’s any exterior flaking or peeling, it may be time to repaint.
- Weather stripping: Replace any loose or torn weather stripping around windows
- Outdoor furniture: To prolong their life, make sure they are stored or securely
- One last simple and often overlooked item: Door mats. A good door mat should
drain water rather than collect it like a sponge.
A little planning and “homework” can add comfort, save energy, reduce costly
maintenance, and offer a peace of mind when Mother Nature arrives this winter.