Why now is the time to get prepared for El Niño

The latest figures put it at a 95% chance that we are going to have a significant El Niño event that will make for a very wet winter with water issues and flooding.  Here is a great comparison photo put together by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association that shows just how serious the ocean warming is this year.


You can google “prepare for El Niño” and there are hundreds of lists and tips of what to do to get prepared for an overly wet winter, and here are links to great information from some of our favorite sources:

Patch.com     SFGATE.com     CBS Bay Area     AAA-Prepare Your Car     Weather.com 

drainage1As Realtors we see water damage in homes and under homes all the time.  The majority of the time it is just the result of deferred maintenance and making sure everything is working properly before the big rains come is not a big job.  As we’ve figured out (sometimes the hard way) in getting our own home ready for water, here are the main components of a properly working drainage system:

Roof:  Make sure you don’t have any missing or broken tiles/shingles and that all the valley’s are clear of debris (this is where we’ve had the most problems).  Repair any issues you find up front – don’t wait to see it they leak because they probably will!

Gutters:  You should clean your gutters as close to predicted rain as possible since leaves continue to fall into the winter.  It’s a nasty job but get all the crud out of your gutters as well.  Be careful on ladders!

Downspouts:  Make sure the connections are good to your gutters and that the downspouts flow freely by testing them.  Also make sure the downspouts flow into buried drainage pipes or away from the house as in the illustration above.  Sometimes it takes a few bangs on the angles to loosen up the crud.

Grading around house:  The dirt around your foundation should slope away from your home for at least 1 1/2 feet, but at least 3 feet is better.  This keeps water from pooling up against your foundation and causing foundation issues and also keeps water from flowing into crawl spaces.  If you have chronic water issues under your home, seek out a professional for extra drainage or pump help.

Drainage pipes:  You should test all of your drainage pipes just like you do your downspouts.  Run water from a home through them and make sure they empty correctly and that there are no obstructions that need to be addressed.

When all of these components are working properly, water should flow from your roof and from your yard away from your home, leaving your free of any leaks or floods.  Trust us, it’s better to address them ahead of the storms, rather than being out in the rain trying to unclog a downspout or dig a drainage channel (again, learned the hard way)!  If you have any questions please know that you can reach out to us 24/7 for help with all your real estate and home needs.

About CarolSawdey

I'm a Broker/Realtor in the San Ramon Valley. A trusted advisor in the local community: We help people buy and sell homes. We counsel them thoroughly. We negotiate to their advantage. We keep their stress to a minimum. And we love what we do!
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