1. Inspect your ROOF - Look around with a binocular to check for broken tiles, shingles or loose seams. If you have any doubt, hire a roof inspector. Better have the issues resolved way before El Nino comes knocking. If you need to upgrade or make improvement to your roof, set up appointments right away, as roofers are booked months in advance. You don't want to leave your biggest investment unprotected.
2. Clean downspouts and gutters - Remove debris and hose your gutter with water to make sure it flows freely. A clogged gutter can cause serious damage to your roof. A little preparedness goes a long way.
3. Divert or extend your rain gutter away from your foundation - With the approaching rain, it is best to make sure water does not flow directly into your foundation or walls. It is recommended that rain gutters be extended an additional 3 to 4 feet away from your wall.
4. Clean your landscape drainage from any debris - It is best to sweep dead leaves and debris at or near your drainage before the return of El Nino. The drainage can't function properly if it is all clogged up.
5. Caulk around your windows and doors - Stop by your home supply store and buy a couple tubes of caulking to seal off cracked or dried casings. It only costs about $4 to $6 dollars per tube. These inexpensive seals are the best preventative to a wet and moist interior. Silicon latex caulking tends to resist moisture much better than acrylic latex caulking. They come in white or transparency colors, although some stores are carrying colored caulking. This preparation is also another source to reduce your Winter heating bills.
6. Fertilize your lawn and trim down branches - Feed your lawn and prepare it for the cold Winter months ahead. Focus on the importance of clearing any overhanging branches that are close to your property or fence. El Nino is bound to bring heavy winds.
7. Clean and put away outdoor furniture, BBQ and trampolines - This is the best way to protect your outdoor furniture so they are ready to be used next year. Clean and make sure your BBQ is stored away or secured properly. Inland winds are known to toss and lift trampolines and BBQ's to your neighbors property.
8. Replace your batteries and change filters - Fire Departments recommend that smoke detector and carbon monoxide batteries be replaced every Spring and Fall. As we prepare to spend more time indoors as Winter approaches, it is best to replace air filters, furnace filters, and clean dryer vents.
9. Tune up your heating system - It is best to make sure your furnace is up to par for the cold season ahead. Usually a tune-up that costs a few hundred dollars will give you the assurance of a warm and cozy Winter.
10. Sweep your chimney - If you use your chimney more often than a central heater, it is best to have it cleaned and swept on an annual basis. This is to make sure it is working properly, and that there is no debris blocking the airflow in the flue.
11. Drain the water in your water heater - It is a necessary precaution to those neighborhoods that have hard water filaments. It improves the efficiency up to 50%.
12. Time to paint and spruce your front entrance - Holidays are upon us and you know you want to spruce up your curb appeal. Better wipe the windows, paint your front door, repair cracks and present your best foot forward.
A little Fall cleaning won't leave you unprepared for El NINO's return this Winter.