Stormwatch San Diego: We Will Rebuild

Recently, San Diegans have learned that we DO have weather. Not a lot of weather, but weather none the less and we may not be as prepared as we should be. In places like Florida, homes are built to withstand winds up to 100mph, but here in paradise, building standards are not as stringent. Recently, we experienced 50-70mph gusts and although that’s not enough to blow your house down, it’s certainly enough to cause damage.

Once the storm passes, take a half an hour or so and do a quick walk-around to assess any damage or related issues that may have developed.

Roof: Roof coverings are particularly susceptible to wind damage. Asphalt shingles can tear off and tiles can shift. Either situation can allow rain water to work its way under the coverings and into the structure of your home. Leaks in your roof may not immediately show up as stains or wet spots on your ceiling. But just because you can't see it doesn't mean it isn't happening. Examining your roof coverings can save you from thousands of dollars in damage.

If it is safe to do so, walk the roof. Take pictures of whatever damage you find (the roofing contractor will appreciate the photos). If you have a tile roof, I don’t recommend walking on them unless you know how to do so safely and without breaking the tiles.

Many roofs can be easily inspected by standing on a ladder at the eaves or by taking digital pictures from a bit of a distance. Download such pictures to your computer where you can enlarge them for closer examination.

Flat roofs covered with rolled asphalt should be examined too. Take note of pools of standing water. This condition should also be corrected as this material is not water-proof, standing water will eventually work its way through.

Trees: Fallen branches and palm fronds should be removed. Fronds and branches laying across walkways, driveways, or sidewalks present a trip hazard for delivery people, friends or any other biped. Clearing them away could save a passer-by from injury and you from the courtroom.

Take a good look at the trees in your yard, assess where broken branches are likely to land. Branches hanging over buildings, driveways, fences, or property lines should be cut back. I know, I know, you love your trees and how they gracefully drape over the driveway or the street. Keep in mind that just one fallen branch can turn a neighbor into a plaintiff.

Fences: Wind and rain can damage your fence planks and loosen the posts. Repair any damage you find as holes in fences can serve as an invitation to any number of unwanted guests. Loose posts should either be repaired immediately or reinforced until you can repair them properly.

Standing Water: One last trip around the house... Buckets, wheel barrows, toys, and anything else that gathers water should be emptied and turned over. Mosquitos lay eggs in standing water and the dirtier the better. If you don't want to spend your Spring and Summer slapping yourself silly, take a few minutes now.

Back in the Navy, I knew a guy named Miguel, he was from from Chillicothe, Ohio (The former home of the Sunbeam Popcorn Popper). Every Fall he would travel home to help his mother prepare the house for the Winter. He had a week-long list of things to do in order to protect his mother's home from the elements. If Miguel can spend a whole week preparing for winter we San Diegans can take afford an hour or so.

Wishing You Continued Success,

Jake Holmes

Level Best Home Inspection

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