Four Tips for Preparing Your Home for the Upcoming El Niño Season
By Liz Snyder and Matt Thomas, October 26, 2015
It may seem like the impossible is upon us—after a relentless drought for the past several years, a predicted and potential El Niño storm season is at the front of our minds.
What are some of the best ways to start preparing your home for the upcoming El Niño season? Here are four steps you absolutely must take to ensure that your home is ready for the winter ahead.
Check Your Roof
The potential for El Niño isn't just in the rain - it's in the wind as well. Survey the health of your roof because it is going to take a pounding. Look for cracks and gaps where shingles overlap and determine if the sheet metal flashing has any holes or rusty spots. Check that your eaves are secure and free of any rot, and will be able to sustain the wind and water that may be coming their way. Check the sealing around any of your vents to be sure nothing is cracked or peeling away; reseal as needed. If you have a flat roof, be sure to check the interior as well for any damage from standing water.
Check Your Gutters
Gutters should be free of any debris, including the downspouts - be sure to check these! It's easy to miss them since a visual inspection won't do. If possible, pour small amounts of water around the joints in your gutters and look for leaks. Any leaks at the joints should be caulked and sealed. Consider installing some form of gutter guard to keep out leaves, your downspouts clear, and the water moving away from your home.
Check Drainage Around Your Home
Poor drainage is one of the surest ways to damage a home's foundation. Inspect and clean the drainage system on your property to make sure that any heavy rain flows keep moving without obstruction. Check for cracks in the foundation, a sign that drainage may not be great. If you have a basement, check for water stains starting around the ground level and working your way down. Any signs of staining are a reason to get a professional out to have a look.
Check Your Windows and Doors
After a long period of time without any rain, it’s hard to imagine water getting into your house, but prolonged dry weather can do a number on your caulking and waterproofing around windows and doors. Inspect all around your windows and doors for gaps in the existing sealant. Hot, dry weather can cause caulking to shrink and pull away. Trim off any old, loose caulking and seal any gaps with good quality caulk. Caulking helps keep heat indoors and cold, wet weather out.
Windows and doors can often be the weakest point of entry for cold temperatures, wind, and water. When purchasing window and door products for your home, be sure to check the performance characteristics of each product. Another consideration is to determine the correct product for the orientation of the home and whether or not there is an existing overhang. Overhangs protect against wind and rain in some cases. If your home does not have an overhang then it is even more important that there is an assessment of the testing results of the fenestration product. Not all products are created equal.
NanaWall opening glass walls are built to withstand extreme conditions. NanaWalls are independently tested for wind-driven rain. Coastal storms, such as tropical storms and hurricanes that we often see during the El Niño storm season, generate winds that may approach or exceed the wind speeds observed during design wind events. As such, these winds generate high-wind pressures on the outsides of the buildings, exploiting any vulnerability around doors and windows and allowing water to enter buildings. Finally, it's important to note that leakage rates typically increase with greater wind speeds― the better the testing results of your fenestration product choices, the better your chances of keeping water out!
Need more information? Contact us to learn how you can better prep your home for the El Niño storm season, and what we at NanaWall Systems can do for you.