Question: With all the news that we are going to have an “El Nino” year with lots of rain, what things would you suggest I do to protect my home from water damage? 

Answer: We got a quick look at what a big rain can do with the brief storm that Southern California just experienced. Yorba Linda got over an inch and a half of rain. We got calls from clients wanted a referral for roof repairs due to leaks they didn’t know existed. There were other problems that surfaced as a result of a lot of rain in a short period of time. Let’s start at the top. If you have a pair of binoculars you can walk around your home and take a look at the roof. Look for tiles that have slipped down and out of position, check for broken tiles or missing tiles. If any of those are evident then it would be good to have a licensed roofer come out and do a tune-up. They will also look for areas that might have the membrane damaged and would allow water to penetrate the home and cause problems. They will also check the flashing and insure that those areas are properly sealed. Then check around your windows for any gaps or missing seals/caulk where water could get behind the windows into the walls. Easy fix but important to insure water tightness. Patch any holes in the stucco to keep water out. Walk around the home and lower the soil levels where they are above what is called the weep screed. When it is too high the moisture can go up into the walls instead of having a way out of the walls. Then if you have drains in the yard, check to see that water will actually drain out to the street. If they are clogged the water will pond in the yard and have the potential to flood if the drains are not free and clear. Lastly, just observe if there are areas where the water would drain toward the house as opposed to away from the house. If your drainage goes toward the house you may want to check with a landscaper to see if you can change the grade away or put in drains that will keep the water away from the home. You are smart to consider those items now rather than find yourself in a panic when the water is coming in during a downpour. I hope that is helpful to you as well as to others as you protect your home.