The setting is fitting for an M. Night Shyamalan film. A drought-ridden Northern California is desperate for a little bit of rain. San Francisco roofing companies warn the people of the area to prepare for a nasty storm, but they laugh as they gesture toward the empty sky. A tumbleweed blows across the barren, brown lawn. The next day dawns with fierce rains and heavy winds, and the unprepared townsfolk watch as their roofs take a brutal beating from the weather.
Okay, so maybe that was a bit over the top, but this year’s El Nino weather pattern has earned the “Godzilla” rating from meteorologists. Some data has indicated this may be the biggest El Nino season yet! While this could bring some much-needed rain to the Bay Area, it should make us conscious of what we need to do to prepare.
What is El Nino?
The El Nino Southern Oscillation is a tropical weather pattern that occurs every few years due to the warming of the surface waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean. This warming pattern can influence weather systems around the world, though for California, that specifically means a longer, colder, wetter winter.
Even so, don’t expect heavy rains from El Nino to end the drought — we probably won’t be turning on our lawn sprinklers any time soon. With more intense weather we should not only be aware of the greater risk of flash flooding and mudslides (such as Los Angeles recently saw), but also what wind and precipitation can do to your roof.
Brace for Impact – Prepare Your Roof
The best plan to prepare your home is to build it right the first time. When the big, bad wolf comes around you don’t want him to blow your house down. A quality roof can (and should) last you more than 20 years, though poor practices and low-quality building materials can radically shorten that life span — especially when subjected to the stresses of an unexpected storm.
When it comes to replacing your roof, take and make sure you hire the right contractor. If you take the first low-ball offer that comes your way, it may end up costing you more, later. Don’t build it twice, build it right!
There are a few things you can do to prepare before El Nino season arrives:
- Inspect your roof. It is especially important to check for loose shingles. Loose shingles can be lifted and torn away, exposing your roof deck to the elements. Look for and repair any roof leaks you find. If you aren’t sure what you are looking for, I covered that in my previous blog post.
- Clear your gutters. Your water diversion systems should be clear of debris. This includes your gutters, drains, and downspouts. If water flow is restricted, it could eventually make it into your home!
- Trim your trees. You want to look for any large or dead branches that could break off and damage your home or roof. You may even consider staking young trees down when strong winds are expected, just don’t leave them that way year-round.
Don’t wait until gloom and doom is already on your doorstep to prepare your home; prepare ahead of time and you won’t have to worry that winter weather is on its way.
For more information on how to prepare for El Nino, see our Residential Roofing and Repair section to learn more. And if you’re ready to beat El Nino this year, give us a call for a free inspection of your roof!
San Francisco’s residential & commercial roofing experts