Preparing for the next Super Soaker

Be careful what you wish for…Now that El Nino may finally be here, it’s not too late to batten down the hatches. Here are 15 things you can do to protect your property:

  1. Roof-Call your roofer to check for trouble spots and repair any old leaks. Most leaks occur at metal flashing connection points so make sure flashing is free of debris.
  2. Gutters and Downspouts-Clean out gutters and downspouts and repair any breaks and make sure gutters are tight against the roofline.
  3. Sump Pump-Ground water can invade low grade space like basement and garages. This keeps the water moving out of your home. If you have a sump pump, have it serviced by your plumber.
  4. Paint-have exterior wood trim painted so cracks don’t carry moisture in and create dry rot.
  5. Windows-Exam window glazing compound to make sure it hasn’t shrunk or pulled away from panes. Recaulk as needed.
  6. Balconies and deck slope- Make sure water flows away from walls and into drainage.
  7. Ants!-Do a pre-emptive strike against an ant invasion with an exterminator visit. Ants want to get out of the rain too.
  8. Sandbag! Keep sandbags, concrete edgers, straw waddle tubing and plastic sheeting around to divert water.
  9. Generator-If your neighborhood is susceptible to power outages (and what Marin neighborhood isn’t), get a portable generator that can kick in when the lights go out.
  10. Ditch it-If you’ve pulled out the lawn and put in hardscape, your drainage patterns may have changed. Lay down mulch or jute to control the run off.
  11. Duh!- Turn off your irrigation until further notice.
  12. Rain Catchment-consider installing rain barrels or other collection system at your downspouts to collect water for future use. Just make sure to direct any overflow away form your house.
  13. Trees-Have any branches that could be a danger to the property cut back or off.
  14. Batten down the hatches-Reinforce your fence if needed, Store or tie down anything that could blow away. Store outdoor furniture or use wood planks under the legs to lift furniture off pavement. Cover glass tables with plywood for protection. Shelter potted plants.
  15. Talk to your neighbors-If your house lies below another house, find out where their property drains, hopefully not into the back of your house. Get ahead of any surprises.

Plan ahead before the next deluge and you’ll rest a little easier.