Long-time Colorado residents are beginning to dig out their snow shovels and collect firewood for the winter ahead. Winters can be cold and intense here in Boulder County.

But this year may not be quite what you’d expect for a Colorado winter.

This winter is slated to have a La Niñawinter, which is an uncommon weather pattern with unusually dry winter months in the Colorado region.

What is La Niña?

La Niña winters bring warm and dry conditions to states like Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, and Florida among others in the southern states. For the northern states, it brings snowier-than-average winters and wetter conditions.

Not only does the La Niña weather pattern increase temperatures across the US, it may raise the danger of flooding in certain areas of the country due to increased rainfall and precipitation. El Niño tends to have the opposite effect as La Niña, bringing unusually warm winters to the northern states, and wetter ones to southern states.

La Niña typically occurs every 2-7 years. The episodes last 9-12 months on average, but can be longer.

How Will La Niña Affect Colorado?

Colorado is right on the edge of the downstream, meaning southern Colorado will likely have drier weather conditions with below-average snowfall, while further north may experience wetter, snowier conditions.

While the impact of La Niña winters on our weather patterns isn’t always predictable, here are some concerns and ways for Boulder County home owners to be prepared.

Freezing and Thawing

Colorado is one of the snowiest states in the US. Warmer-than-usual days and less snowfall may lead to more inconsistent temperatures throughout the winter, which means more consistent freezing and thawing.

Freezing and thawing canclog or damage your gutters and roof, sidewalk, and outdoor plants.

How to Prepare Your Gutters

  • Clear your gutters of dead leaves and debris.
  • Make sure your gutters are sloped so that water or debris can’t settle into one place.
  • You may also want to salt your gutters to prevent snow buildup, which can prevent large areas of ice from freezing and clogging your gutters.

How to Prepare Your Roof

  • Be sure to maintain your roof by patching any leaks before winter.
  • Your roof’s insulation is a powerful defense against changing weather and retaining heat in your house.If your energy bills are consistently high in the winter, it may be time for a roofing insulation update.
  • Insulation should also keep roof tiles cold and prevent snow from melting too quickly and overflowing into your gutters.

How to Prepare Your Driveway and Sidewalk

  • Freezing and thawing can cause your concrete driveway and sidewalk to erode over time.
  • You can prevent this erosion by sealing it with a quality concrete sealer every 2-5 years.

Flooding and Water Damage

Whatever snowfall Colorado does see this year, that snow will likely melt quicker since temperatures will stay warmer than usual.

This means there could be more water damage to your home and property, as the snow will melt faster and can cause flooding around your property.

How to Prepare for Water Damage

  • To keep your basement from flooding from snowmelt, make sure any drains and gutters are always clear of debris.
  • Direct water from these drains away from the foundation of your house
  • Fix cracks in your foundation or basement windows
  • Invest in window well covers.
  • If your property has been a victim of flooding in the past or you’re in a low area where water gathers (likea valley or a lower elevation than surrounding land), you might want to install a sump pump or even a flood alarm.

Dry Conditions

A dry winter doesn’t necessarily mean there won’t be any work to do around your property. You may have drought-like conditions, which could impact your plants and family.

Trees are forever growing throughout all seasons, and still need care in the winter. If there’s not much precipitation to nurture them, you may have to water your trees to keep them healthy.

Dry conditions also means that the air will be especially harsh on skin, so you might want to think about adding a house-wide humidifier to your HVAC to keep your family more comfortable and protected from arid air.

Wet and Soggy Conditions

One of the worst part about winter weather is the aftermath of all the slush and mud that gets tracked into your house. When several pairs of boots come in and out of the house, mud is almost inevitable in your home.

Luckily, we have some tips on how to protect your carpet during mud season.

How to Prepare for Wet and Soggy Conditions

Winters bring a new level of wear and tear on your indoor floors. Regularly cleaning carpets to prevent staining and permanent damage is important but can be a hassle.

Having your carpet professionally cleaned throughout the La Niña season will remove debris, dirt, and allergens that have been packed into your carpet over time. A vacuumonly cleans the surface and misses some of the deeper dirt.

We offer professional carpet cleaning services here at General Services Cooperation. Our experienced team will deeply clean your carpet using high-quality tools and service.

Despite it being a La Niña year, there’s still going to be a big snow storm here and there. Whether you’re buried in snow, coated in ice, or lounging in shorts this winter, it’s important to remain prepared and protected from ice and snow build up.

Make sure you’re prepared to clear your sidewalks and driveway with the right snow shovel >