California residents have spent the last four years enduring one of the worst droughts in state history. However, if recent forecasts are correct, we won’t be suffering for much longer. Citing a strong El Niño climate pattern developing in the Pacific Ocean, climatologists are predicting what could be the wettest winter California has seen in nearly two decades. While it’s uncertain how much rain El Niño will bring, it’s a good idea to be prepared by bolstering your home against the elements. Here are a few critical steps:
Do you have questions about El Niño? Visit our El Niño Resource Page.
Schedule a roof inspection. Have a qualified roofer check the condition of your roof and repair any damaged or missing shingles. Likewise, a professional will make sure there’s adequate leak protection in vulnerable spots like skylights, pipes and chimneys. Remember, components like flashings, underlayment and leak barriers are just as crucial as shingles when it comes to guarding against the elements, so consider replacing these while your roof is being serviced.
Make sure your rain gutter and downspout system is ready to flow. A gutter and downspout system is a critical aspect of rain control because it collects water that’s shed off the roof and transports it safely to the ground. However, when a gutter and downspout system isn’t properly maintained, it can lead to a host of harmful problems, including dry rot; premature damage to siding, paint and exterior trim; and even flooding and foundation settlement.
Prior to the rainy season, you should clear your gutters of debris (the primary culprit of clogs that lead to overflow) and check them for leaks. If you want to minimize maintenance throughout the year, consider installing a gutter guard system, which keeps debris out so you don’t have to. Also, make sure your downspout outlet is pointed away from your home and place a splash block beneath it to help prevent foundation issues.
Seal your home’s exterior. Even if your roof and rain gutters are functioning properly, lapses like damaged paint and exposed gaps can leave your home susceptible to moisture problems like dry rot. Conduct a thorough inspection of your home’s exterior and take note of areas where paint has started cracking or peeling, as well as gaps in seams, joints and window trim. Perform any needed paint touch-ups and use a high-quality caulking material to seal all gaps. Remember, to provide full moisture protection, all of your home’s siding panels should be primed on all edges, both front and back.
Check your storm drains. Storm drains are commonly used in areas where the landscape conditions pose potential drainage problems. They’re often overlooked, but if a storm drain gets clogged, it can lead to water intrusion issues and even flooding, so make sure yours is clear of debris before the rain starts falling.
To find a Diamond Certified company that can help you prepare your home for winter weather, click on one of the links below.