It is Tuesday, and I am sitting here in my studio / office, catching up on some emails. The weather is forecasted to be rainy with a chance of thunder. Through the 20-light window panes I see the tree-tops near Strawberry Creek Park, watching bubbles rise up from the cafe below, when it begins to pour. I mean POUR. I can hear the sounds of the rain through the tunes of my Rainy Day Spotify playlist. To the left I notice the maintenance crew wading through the pouring rain with a ladder, and climbing up onto the roof. “There is a leak!” I hear someone say. “Grab a bucket!” Oh no…..
In my 18 years of real estate, I have definitely learned a thing or two about how the rain impacts a structure. I’ve had sump pumps back up, gutters overflow into a window, french drains, get clogged, sub areas become filled with inches of water, and roofs leak. Here are my top 5 tips for preparing your home for rain.
- Clean out your gutters at least once a year. If you live in an area where you have a lot of tree debris, clean it out twice. And while you are up there, make sure to clean off all of the moss growing on the roof. You can also invest in gutter covers, which protect the gutters from larger debris. B and B Windows + Gutters is fantastic – they can clean out your gutters or install gutter guards. Give them a try!
- Check + redirect your downspouts. If you are using gutter extenders, double check that they are still connected and redirected from the house. Not using them? If you have any gutters that empty into your foundation, you should be using them! We have a terrific handyman who would be happy to come over and install. However, if you need new downspouts, you will need a roofer to help. Pacific Coast Roofing is a good one!
- Assess your sump pump. If your sump pump does not regularly go off throughout the year, it would be good to double check that it is plugged in, has fresh batteries (if applicable), and is ready to work. You definitely do not want to find out it is not working in the middle of a downpour. A plumber or handyman can help you with this, but also a quick Youtube search will show you how to check it yourself.
- Turn off your sprinklers. This one seems like an obvious one, but so many people forget that their sprinklers are on a timer, only to realize they are still set to go off AFTER they have gone off. If you know there is going to be rain, please turn them off! Or invest in a Rachio, or other smart timer system, that has a water-sensing feature built-in. It will automatically adjust the schedule when the ground is wet.
- After the rain slows down…check everything! Do a quick walk around your home. Check for leaks in the ceiling, water-intrusion in any sub-area, or gutters that are dripping – that is a sign of a back up. If you rent, tell your property manager right away.
And here is a bonus tip!
When the rain starts to slow, and the sun peaks out, grab some bubbles. They are absolutely magical in the rain.