Environment & Science

3 tips from a handyman to prepare your home for El Niño

Caulking windows at your home is one way to prepare for keeping the El Niño rain outside, so you can stay warm and dry.
Caulking windows at your home is one way to prepare for keeping the El Niño rain outside, so you can stay warm and dry.
Alyson Hurt via Flickr

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We've survived the first round of 2016's El Niño storms, but more rain is on its way. Now is the time to prepare yourself and your home for round two.

Handyman Victor Webb gave KPCC a few DIY tips to get your house rain-ready so the water is sure to stay outside, instead of drowning you in a world of mess.

1. Make sure you have weatherstripping around your doors

Webb said that weatherstripping the area around your doors is both affordable and easy. According to a guide on "This Old House," weatherstripping will seal up gaps around your doors to keep cold air out. "You can buy a little kit at one of the hardware stores, and you can install that yourself," Webb said. There are different types available at hardware stores, made of materials like felt, foam tape and tubular rubber, among others. 

2. Caulking around your windows

Another cheap and easy way to prepare your home for the winter weather that Webb recommended: Protect your windows from cold air and moisture by going around your windows with caulk, sealing the perimeter. For a demonstration, check out this video tutorial: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8cXoLV_seA

3. Double check everyday appliances

Save time and money by ensuring you are using everyday appliances — like your garbage disposal — correctly.

"Making sure that you know what kind of materials your garbage disposals can handle, and things like that, those are the simple things that you can kind of do to stave off having to call me," Webb said. Another tip on Webb's Facebook page: listen to your toilet to see if it is running intermittently. If it is, he writes that it is likely the rubber piece at the bottom of the tank, known as the flapper. When it doesn't seal properly, it wastes water, Webb said, while fixing it only takes about $5 and 5 minutes.

If your house already needs some repairs after El Niño round one, Webb recommends asking a few questions to check your handyman's credentials:  

"If someone has gone so far to have those things and be able to answer some of those questions about what they do and how they do it, then you can probably feel safe that they have some skill when they are coming in to work on your house," Webb said.

For more tips from a handyman, visit Webb's Facebook page where he posts various tips for your home improvement needs.