Floods, mudslides, and leaking roofs will ruin your Southern California winter with El Nino in full force. Drought-ridden California is dreaming of a rainy winter and an El Nino may be our answer. The most recent storm to hit California dumped buckets of rain and showed El Nino has hit. Although the predictions show a weaker El Nino than previously predicted, this does not diminish the potential hazard it could cause to your community.
The entire state has faced severe drought conditions over the last 3 years, with 77 percent in an extreme drought and 33 percent considered to be in an exceptional drought, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center. During a normal rainy season, for example, San Diego County receives approximately 9 inches of precipitation, but only received 5.06 inches of rain in 2013. The effects of the drought were felt throughout California in 2014, as numerous fires ripped through many communities.
This past year saw 5,508 wildfires and 631,431 acres burned, many communities in Southern California were severely affected. Communities throughout San Diego, Orange County, and Los Angeles are now in danger of mudslides as torrential downpours continue to batter the West Coast. It is important that community managers begin to take proactive measures such as the following:
- Roofing maintenance, including gutter and downspout cleaning
- Cleaning and clearing of all area drains, v-ditches, and storm drains
- Ensure that there is positive slope away from building foundations
- Keep flat landscape drain grates from clogging due to leaf and twig buildup.
- Add mound of ¾” gravel directly on and adjacent to the grate.
There is no other maintenance procedure that is as important as annual roofing maintenance, especially with heavy rains. Consider the following list of potential problems that could result from not performing this vital maintenance:
- Interior unit damage from roof water leaks
- Potential fire hazard from water hitting junction boxes or connections.
- Stucco damage and stucco discoloration (black streaks).
- Wood deterioration from both wood rot and termite infestation (wet wood is great termite food).
- Slab cracks due to soil subsidence; soil subsides when it becomes soaked with water and becomes heavier than the surrounding soil.
Roof maintenance should be performed every year. If you can’t get your board to spend the money to perform roof maintenance at least convince them to inspect their roofs and perform an annual gutter and downspout cleaning. Keep the phone number of your emergency maintenance contractor incase of emergency leaks and clogged drains as El Nino hits us over the next few months.