The 2015 El Nino is predicted to be a big one, with forecasted widespread flooding and a negative economic impact on the San Diego area. As flood restoration specialists, we (Clean Earth Restorations) wanted to put together a list of tips that will help you prepare for El Nino and avoid water damage. San Diego customers can count on us to respond 24/7 for any flooding emergency.
Here is Part 2, covering inside preparation. Read further in Part 3 (outdoor preparation), and Part 4 (the best El Nino information references). You can find Part 1, covering “administrative” tips (insurance, family emergency strategies, etc) here.
Here are some indoor precautions you can take to avoid water damage issues during the El Nino season
Check your sump pump: this minor precaution can SAVE YOU THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS, so we’ll repeat, check your sump pump!
It’s been off since last winter. It may be UNPLUGGED. And if it’s plugged in, does it still work? A sump pump is designed to pump out any water that accumulates inside your property, usually in a basement or area where the floor is lower than ground level (think converted garage on a sloped property). It’s an invention that works marvelously until it doesn’t. If your sump pump isn’t working, you can easily find yourself with a small pond or creek inside your home. It just takes a few minutes to make sure it’s working the way it should.
Map out your vulnerable zones: study the “lay of your land”. Try to imagine where water would pool, how the property drains excess water, which indoor areas would be affected first in the event of a flood (sliding glass door? garage floor? etc). Stock up on appropriate water diversion supplies (from old towels to sandbags) and be proactive in putting them out during wet weather.
Keep valuables in higher storage areas: you’ve seen it on the news — people crying over boxes of ruined photos that were stored on the ground in the (flooded) garage. If you have something really important in your garage, or an area that might flood during a major storm, make sure it’s either in waterproof containers, or is kept up high, or both.
Check windowsills for cracked paint: spend a little time on windowsill maintenance. Cracked or chipped paint leaves the underlying wood subject to moisture. Rain may enter through an open window and pool on the sill. If windows are closed and the house is warm, condensation may drip down the pane onto the sill. Humidity can cause the wood to bloat, and can be a source of mold growth.
Emergency kits: check your emergency kit. Make sure perishables and expired goods are replaced, and that all necessities are replenished to full amounts. For links to what you should keep in your kit see What Should You Have in an Emergency Supply Kit?
On the less “emergency” side of things —
Prepare for the ants: ants tend to want to camp inside when the outdoors get too wet. Stock up on your preferred method of ant deterrent.
Prepare for the dirty shoes: wet weather, flood or not, means wet shoes (and paws) and extra dirt finding its way into the house. Keep a sturdy door mat outside each exterior door. Use umbrella stands (outside, if possible). Lay down runners inside doorways to trap moisture that wasn’t wiped off on outside mats (old towels will work in a pinch too). Devise a strategy (and publicize it loud and clear) about where to hang wet clothes and put wet shoes to dry.
Calendar your next carpet cleaning: there’s no doubt about it, your carpets will suffer under the wicked wiles of El Nino. Keep your professional carpet cleaner on your schedule and protect your flooring investment.
Stay tuned for Part 3, knowing how to prepare your outdoor property for El Nino.
Clean Earth Restorations provides a variety of expert restoration services to San Diego County including sewage spill clean up, flood remediation, fire and smoke restoration, and bio-hazard testing. We are also one of San Diego’s favorite professional carpet cleaning companies. We are a family-owned and run organization with almost 20 years of proud service to our community.
Bookmark our website for rapid access during any remediation emergency. And take advantage of our current carpet cleaning discounts with the coupons below: