Finally, the weather in Southern California has switched directly from a heat worthy of mid July to proper November weather. The cold weather came so late, it’s almost like winter crept up on us. This means that most people have probably not given a single thought to weatherizing their home.
Granted, we here in Los Angeles, Inland Empire, Orange and San Diego Counties don’t need a lot of “weatherizing” done to our homes. We’re pretty sure there’s people in Chicago, Detroit and Montana right now calling us a bunch of pansies. And yes, it’s true we don’t need storm windows or special siding to survive the winter, but there are things that we should do to our homes.
One place we should all look is the rain gutters. Not all homes have or need them, but many do. Since we have rain so infrequently throughout the year, and rarely does it rain for days on end, many homeowners probably forget that it’s there. These are designed to get the water off the roof and away from the home, helping to protect the structure by not allowing the water to flow into the eaves. And when these gutters are clogged, damage occurs.
What happens when you drop an ice cube into a full drink from a height of, say, 12 inches? The liquid in your drink splashes everywhere, like the ice cube did a mini cannon-ball jump. And if your gutters are clogged, guess what happens. That’s right, water pools in the gutters, then the falling rain splashes water everywhere.
And we mean everywhere: On window and door frames, behind the fascia, into the walls. We’ve got homes in Southern California that are almost exclusively made of wood. All of this splashing water and cool temperatures can lead to wood rot, and standing water and rotted wood provide housing, food and drink to insects. We don’t need any further invitation for termites to nest in our homes—they seem to love this area as much as we do. But homeowners, more and more, have realized the correlation between moisture around the home and termite infestation.
If the gutters are not funneling water properly, then it’s likely that pools of standing water can form, which not only attract insects like mosquitoes, it is usually the biggest cause of cracked foundations and slab leaks. Although eaves generally provide some protection by directing the rainwater away from the foundation, as a house settles, they sink and form a reverse grade leading….back to the house. That’s a nice place for a puddle to form and start seeping in to the porous material of the foundation: concrete. Those clogged gutters won’t help either, as they will be creating a similar problem as the water overflows the edges and drops directly next to the foundation.
And last but not least: mold. Now that construction techniques are even better than ever, that actually means that homes are “tighter”. Mold needs a dark, warm and moist environment to grow, and these new houses no longer have the gaps that let in excessive light and cold. So a little bit of water that manages to get through the cracks, up under the roof or in the windows can feed mold and make it grow without you even knowing.
So watch out over the next day or two, and see if you still have any standing water. Luckily, this rain will not last long, but if it’s gotten into your house, please give us a call. Remember, if it’s hot right after a rain, that is even more food for the mold to grow! And water damage restoration will cost you three times less than mold remediation. Call now: (877) 732-8471