How To Prepare For The Upcoming Atmospheric River

If you have watched the weather forecast lately, you will notice that we are heading into one of the worst storm seasons that and Southern California has had in a decade. We have to prepare for some of the worst storms in a decade.

Authorities are warning of heavy rains, storm, heavy snowing, flooding, and mudslides. It doesn’t look good for homeowners, too. It means that homes are about to get tested. Homes that have multiple issues may have even more.

Lucky for you, it is always good to get ahead of the situation and prepare for the rough weather ahead of time. Yes, it is time to get out that checklist again and get ready to ready to inspect you home.

How to prepare

Preparing for heavy rains and storm season in Los Angeles can help protect your home, your family, and your community. Here is how:

Keep safe

One way to keep safe is to avoid driving outside, ensuring that you have the necessary supplies, and heeding all advisories. Keep up with all the news coming in about the weather and emergency alerts. Driving will be hard because of the heavy mountain snowfall, torrential rains, rain run-offs, and strong winds. Even though you may consider yourself a safe driver, other people are on the road while texting friends, speeding down the road, and simply not paying attention to the other cars around or the road conditions at that time.  This usually leads to an abundance of accidents on the roads during this time.

Protect your home

One way to protect your home is by ensuring that everything is in good working condition. Here is a simple, yet effective checklist for your home:

Inspect your roof

The roof is the most vulnerable section of your home during a normal rain and even more so during the heavy rainstorms. It is a good idea to check for any loose, lifting, or damaged roofing tiles that maybe present and possibly cause water intrusion, leaks or additional damage on your roof. Make any necessary repairs immediately by calling your local roofer to inspect your roof. If a roofer is available, you may want to contact them for professional advice. They may recommend covering the area with a tarp or heavy plastic until they are able to inspect the roof and repair the area for you.

Inspect your gutters and downspouts

While checking the roof, don’t forget the gutters and downspouts. Ensure that the roof, gutters, and downspouts are draining efficiently. If not, solve the problem immediately by looking for the areas where water is not draining and maybe building up. It is really important to clean these items often and to ensure that they are free from debris, leaves, and dirt. After inspecting and cleaning these gutters consider going down to the hardware store and purchasing new parts, rain gutter screens, diverters or extenders that move the water farther away from your home or structure.

Built up water near the footing of your home can weaken the foundation and cause flooding in the crawlspaces or your below grade rooms. Make sure that this is avoided as much as possible by eliminating puddles as soon as possible.  Flooded crawlspaces can cause unwanted odors and the increase the risk of growing mold below your home.  Preventing water intrusion below your home can save you thousands of dollars in remediation and dry out costs.

Check Your Outside Drains

One other item that will be pushed to the limits will be your drainage system. If you notice ponding or large puddles in the yard begin by walking the yard and looking for debris covering the drains.  Most often the drains maybe clogged with debris, leaves, or dirt. If the drains are not clogged, consider buying a pump that can move the water from the flooded area to an area that is draining correctly.  French drains and sump pumps are susceptible to problems and should be checked on a regular basis during the heavy rains.

If there are recent excavations around your property consider covering them with plastic or tarps immediately to prevent ponding and pooling of the area. In addition, take a moment to ensure the yard slopes effectively away from the home to prevent water intrusion and eventually mold from growing within your home.

Trim Trees and Clear Branches Often

Make sure that the trees and branches not a safety risk to your home. Trim any trees or branches that could fall during a storm and cause damage to your home or property. Remove loose wooden material including branches and logs near the home to prevent moisture from building up and entering your home.

Inspect the windows and door

Check if the windows and doors are in working condition and are closed. As silly as it sounds some clients leave there window open and water enters through the window.  To conduct an inspection of the windows look at the upper, sides and lower edges of the window for moisture stains or moisture damage.  If there is a problem with any of them, you may want to cover the window with plastic and secure it with a heavy-duty tape to prevent more water from entering. To inspect exterior doors take a moment to look at the water proofing seals and the grade of the exterior foundation outside the door.  If you begin to notice moisture moving into the room from the door, it maybe a good idea to get sandbags and shoe up the area(s).

Waterproof the Basement, Hillside, or Below Grade Rooms

The basement, hillside and below grade rooms will be vulnerable to many forms of flooding or water intrusion. As more water gathers outside the home it may seep into the crawlspace, below grade rooms or basement. After the heavy amount of rains, the soil becomes saturated with moisture and can no longer absorb moisture. At this point, moisture saturated soil begins to  move water in the path of least resistance and this can eventually be you’re a room in your home.  Check for all possible leaks and address them immediately.

A flooded room or room with moisture intrusion typically has a musty odor and if addressed immediately can be corrected.  If left alone and not dried correctly, this scenario can put your family and property at risk . A typical waterproofing inspection for a basement, hillside below grade room will include inspection of the footing, checking sump pumps, and ensuring proper drainage outside the home.

By taking these steps, you can help ensure that you and your family are prepared for heavy rains and storms in the Los Angeles and Ventura county areas and prevent water intrusion and mold growth.

What to do in the event of water intrusion into the home during a storm

If water intrusion occurs in your home during a storm, it’s important to act quickly to minimize water damage and protect your family’s safety.

Move objects (furniture) to higher ground

Start with the lowest sections of the home, such as basements and garages. Move any valuable items, including documents, electronics and furniture, to higher ground to prevent further damage.

Place barriers where possible to prevent the water

You can place a barrier where the water is seeping to prevent further water intrusion.  This could include sandbags or even taping plastic over a window or door to prevent the rain water from entering the home.

Remove the water

Once you have stopped the intrusion, you can begin removing the water. You can use  several items including towels, wet or dry vacuum, buckets, brooms, or a pump to remove standing water from your home. Be careful not to use any electrical appliances near standing water.

Call a Restoration Professional in an emergency

If you are struggling to keep the water out, call a professional mold remediation company. These companies have certified individuals and larger equipment that can mitigate the water from you home much faster.

Dry out your home

Once you stop the water intrusion and have removed the water that was already inside your home you should begin using fans and dehumidifiers to dry out your home. You may also want to consider using a professional water damage restoration service to help with the drying process.  They may remove baseboards and even drill holes in the base of the wall to allow hot / dry air to pull the moisture from your walls and/or ceilings.

Be careful with ceiling areas that have collapsed or caved in. If your home is old, or you suspect lead, asbestos, be careful with it. You should consider calling Fun Guy Inspections, a specialist able to test for asbestos and lead in the building materials.

Check for Mold

After water has been removed, Fun Guy Inspection can check for mold growth in damp areas. Mold can grow quickly and pose health risks to you and your family.  The industry states that mold can grow within 72-96 hours (3-4days) if the area has not been dried correctly.

Contact your insurance company

It is very important to take all water damage preventive measures to prevent damage as much as possible. Sometimes it is inevitable and you have to contend with it, if this is the case, contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report any damage and begin the claims process.

Take photos

It’s important to prioritize your safety and seek professional help if needed. If you are unsure of what to do, consider contacting a water damage restoration service or your local emergency services for assistance.

Have the home inspected by a professional

Before you embark on a renovation project following water damage there are some underlying things to consider. Asbestos is normally found in structures prior to 1977 but can also be found in many structures after that period.  In its undisturbed state, asbestos can stay in your home without harming you and your family. During water damage restoration, the material will be disturbed by the mold remediation professionals as they begin to remove drywall, baseboards and insulation.

For older homes, you will need to have a certified professional, such as Fun Guy Inspections perform lead and asbestos testing in your home. It will guide the renovation experts and let you understand how to handle your project.

Conducting asbestos testing is mandatory prior to any renovation per the SCAQMD rule 1403. Anything that may include disturbing existing structures such as renovation and demolition requires asbestos testing by a certified professional. Fun Guy Inspections is here to complete this service for the safety of the you, your family and the workers that are performing the restoration services.  Don’t let the wait for things to dry out by themselves after water intrusion occurs in your home.  Call the professionals that can help you understand the benefits of water intrusion inspections and mold testing before the problem gets out of hand. Call Fun Guy Inspections at 818-674-7541.