The past several winters, we’ve seen severe blizzards and floods throughout much of the country and floods are already overwhelming the Midwest this year. To compound that, a severe El Niño is expected to impact weather patterns all across the U.S. As the heart of winter draws near, it is important that homeowners know the risks this phenomenon could pose to their homes and lives.

El Niño is a weather pattern that occurs every two to seven years, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It is defined as the changes that unusually high temperatures in the Pacific Ocean near the equator ultimately have on global weather conditions. El Niño has been affecting weather patterns for thousands of years, but many people are still unaware of the levels of danger it can bring to certain areas.

Because this year's El Niño is expected to be one of the largest of the century, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has already started practicing response drills, as signs of severe storms grow stronger. Alleviate some of the potential risk to your home with preventative maintenance and repairs that can be paid for with a home equity loan.

Speak to a loanDepot licensed loan officer today for more information.

Flood insurance

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recommends that Californians – and others in high-risk states – should take extra precautions throughout the next few months. King tides and surges near the shores of the ocean and rivers are predicted for late December and January, which could result in flooding.

Homeowners should make arrangements to protect their homes and families before the destructive weather begins to worsen. Purchasing flood insurance is one avenue as flood damage isn’t protected under a typical homeowners insurance policy, so many are applying an additional plan to cover this type of loss. In the past month, more than 7,000 flood insurance plans have been taken out in California alone.

Inspect all potential damage areas

Is your wood shingle roof more than seven years old? Do you have an old-growth tree that threatens power lines or your house? Have you had the flood control or drainage system cleaned and cleared recently? Before the weather gets wild, do an objective assessment and think, “Where is my house vulnerable?” Consider all weather threats in your area – wind, rain, ice, snow and flooding – and assess the potential damage if your roof leaked on your new wood floors or that heavy tree branch broke off and landed on your car or house.  

Make repairs ahead of time

Now that you know where the risk lies, are there preventative repairs you can do to stave off worse damage? Consider using your home’s equity to pay for minor repairs now before they become high risk for significant damage. Have trees inspected and trimmed, have the roof evaluated for any weak spots, make sure your drainage system is clear and fully operational. A home equity loan can offset potential damage by helping you pay for these preventative repairs.

Ensuring that any leaks or other weaknesses found in the basement or the roof of a home are repaired can reduce the effects of El Niño. Homeowners can benefit by hiring an inspector to take a look at the foundation and the roof to detect any areas that need addressing. By fixing these repairs now, homeowners may be alleviating more serious damage, thereby saving money in the long run.

A home equity loan can make sure you have the funds on hand to cover these preventative repairs. Speak to a loanDepot licensed loan officer now for more information. 


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