Here is Part 3 of our 2015 El Nino Preparation series, focusing on outdoor preparation. This year’s 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.
If you didn’t see them already, Parts 1 (administrative tips), 2 (indoor preparation), and Part 4 (the best El Nino information references) are also full of good tips.
Here are some outdoor precautions you can take to avoid water damage issues during the El Nino season
Clean rain gutters: one of the easiest ways to avoid water damage is to do a thorough cleaning of your rain gutters and spouts. If leaves or other debris prevent water from flowing, it will spill over the gutters into areas that aren’t necessarily prepared for it — pooling against walls or sliding glass doors, flowing down slopes into areas unprepared for water, etc. If you have separate pieces at the bottom of the spouts (where they reach the ground) make sure they are attached correctly and pointing in the right direction. See this informational post for instructions on cleaning your rain gutters.
Clear away property drainage obstructions: consider the layout of your property and how it drains away water. Make sure that none of the drainage elements are obstructed (by leaves, piles of gardening or construction materials, a parked car tire on a drainage grill, etc). You want rain (and run off from adjacent property) to flow easily, and continuously, away from your property.
Be aware of neighboring property issues: does your property sit at the bottom of a slope belonging to someone else? How is the drainage handled on that slope? Is the slope planted so as to maintain top soil in rainy conditions (or might you find the slope on your back patio in the morning?) If you aren’t confident about the situation, you may want to approach your neighbor to discuss possible solutions. It’s in both of your favor to prevent property degradation.
Stock up on rain diversion accessories: many municipalities offer sandbags to residents during emergency situations but if you are facing a possible flood, time will be of the essence. Why not have some sandbags stocked in the garage and ready to use? If you wait until the situation is critical you may find that stocks are low or depleted, and you may have to scramble to find what you need.
Fix leaks (before roofers get busy with emergencies): are you procrastinating about fixing a small roof leak? Think about taking care of that while the skilled professionals you need are available (and hungry for the job). Also, don’t forget – big giant (moldy) (expensive) restoration jobs have sprouted from small (neglected) leaks just like yours…
Take a look at chimney flashing: while you are making sure your roof is in good condition, have a look at your chimney flashing. Loose or missing flashing can cause leaks by allowing water to enter underneath the roofing material.
Check your trees: With as much water as is predicted to fall this winter, it would be unwise to ignore the condition of your property’s trees. Branches are heavier when drenched, and soil is softer. Conditions that may affect the safety of a tree include the type of tree (shallow or deep roots?), the age of the tree (is it young and strong or aged and brittle?), the size of the tree, the shape and balance of the tree (is it lopsided? are some branches much heavier than others?), and the tree’s proximity to property structures (if part or all of it fell due to water, wind, or lightening, where would it be likely to land?) Proactively trimming or removing the tree may be necessary to avoid damage.
Other ideas to think about:
Install rain barrels, take advantage of rebates: an El Nino is predicted but California is still experiencing a drought. With all this water on the way, maybe it’s time to install rain barrels on your property to save water and money. This article gives you lots of information about applying for current rain barrel rebates to help defray costs.
What about the dog house and the chicken coop?: pets need prevention too. Make sure their outdoor homes provide protection from the rain and wet ground, and are warm and secured (won’t blow over or away in the wind).
Prevent West Nile virus — empty those rain-filled containers: San Diego County is experiencing a near record occurrence of West Nile virus and regularly advises residents to empty still water in outdoor containers (empty tires, plant containers and saucers, buckets, etc) where mosquitoes, the carriers of the disease, are likely to breed. Currently there are 30 positive cases of the disease and 5 deaths attributed to it.
Stay tuned for Part 4, the best information and references on 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: