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Rain, Rain, Go Away

Updated: Jan 31, 2023

Just kidding, that was click bait, we will gladly welcome all the rain we can get. But oh, my mama, I don't think any of us were prepared for just how much of it has been falling! When a home is not prepared for extreme weather crazy, unthinkable things can happen. We'll never forget the night our childhood home had water dripping out of the ceiling fans and running down the sides of our bedroom walls. We had snow on our roof, which had started to melt, but then it refroze. And then it started to rain. But because we now had ice dams, the water had nowhere to it came into our house. Rural North Carolina life is fun. This was before internet was mainstream (man, that makes us sound old) so we were on our own for figuring out how to deal with such a situation. The result was one wet and wild night no one in our family will ever forget!

We don't imagine any of us will ever have to deal with ice dams on our roofs here in Agoura Hills, but we share the story to illustrate that complications due to weather can be unpredictable. And since the best offense is a good defense, what can we do to give our homes the best chance at riding out the storms unscathed? How can we capture and utilize this much needed rain? We have answers to those questions and more, and while we realize this article would have been more beneficial say, two weeks ago, more rain is forecasted to head our way, so better late than never, right? Let's dive in! Pun intended.

How to Prepare Your Home For Heavy Rainstorms

Check Your Windows and Sliding Doors

You of course want to make sure they are tightly shut, and if they are older or you see significant ware and tear on the seals it might be time to call your window guy.

Clear Your Drains

If it has been awhile since you have had your outdoor drains snaked, you might want to consider a check up. No one wants a non permitted pool to suddenly appear in their backyard. That's a little realtor humor for you. Our drains held up great, but we just inspected them and the grates were full of leaves and dog hair, ick! Took just a few minutes to sort them out.

If during these last storms you noticed any flooding concerns that came a little too close for comfort to your home you might want to consider having some sandbags on hand just in case. You can buy them at Lowe's, Home Depot, and most home improvement stores.

Clear Your Gutters

Make sure they are free of debris, and while you are up there...

Check Your Roof for Any Cracked Tiles

If anything looks out of order contact your roofer for advice on how to properly cover and secure the issue until they are able to get out there.

Secure Loose Lawn Items

Make sure all umbrellas are down and anything with the potential to fly (or float) away has been secured or stored elsewhere.

Get Trees Trimmed

This is a big one. If you are behind on your tree maintenance you will want to get that in order immediately. We have been seeing some crazy photos of damage done by this last storm; you want do everything in your power to ensure that your home is protected from flying branches and wayward trees.

Pool Maintenance

Rainwater is acidic and will mess with your chemical balance. If you care for your pool yourself, have extra chemicals on hand so you can treat your pool as soon as the rain stops. Turn the system completely off, you can cut the power to it entirely, if desired. Doesn't hurt. If you do not have an overflow in your pool, make sure you have a means to emptying the excess water. We found a great article right here for how to care for your pool during these rainy times.

For even more information on the above and beyond, we found this excellent article, and another stellar article is this one right here.

How to Harvest Rainwater

If it hurts your heart to see all of this glorious moisture go straight down the drains to the ocean, you are not alone. Rain Harvesting is picking up in popularity, and since we live in a desert, it only makes sense. But how does it work? Where do you start? Let's learn together!

In Los Angeles city limits new buildings and remodels are actually required to implement stormwater mitigation strategies. The easiest way to meet these requirements is, of course, rain barrels. While we do not yet have this same mandate here in Agoura, it never hurts to get a head start. The barrels themselves are easy enough to purchase, most hardware stores will carry them, and there are a plethora of options available online. Buying the barrels is the easy part. What comes next?

How To Install a Rain Barrel

Per the Las Virgenes Water District website, these are the steps you will want to follow:

  1. Choose where to install your rain barrel. You will want to attach it to a gutter, and you will want it in an area that should it overflow, the water will be diverted a lawn or garden.

  2. Place the barrel on a stable, raised surface. You will want to make sure this surface is level and raised, as gravity will assist you when it comes time to use the water. You will also need to secure the barrel to the building with earthquake straps.

  3. Install the downspout. Watch the videos or read the instructions straight from the source for this one, there's a hacksaw involved. We're not touching that.

  4. Do a test run. Run water through your gutters to ensure the operation is running smoothly.

How to Utilize Rainwater

You've collected it, now what? Obviously watering lawns and gardens is the easiest way to utilize rainwater. It doesn't have to be treated, and with our limited and inconsistent amounts of rain this makes the most sense. But for those of us who like to go big, with proper care and treatment rainwater can essentially replace tap water in most facets of daily life. Again, rainwater is acidic, so before you venture beyond your garden with it you will want to do some research and learn how to balance the pH levels. Once you have mastered that, go crazy! Fill your pool and fountains, wash the dog, wash your car, pressure wash the house, wash your clothes, wash yourself! You are one with nature now, living off the grid while being a part of the grid.

life isn't about waiting for the storm to's learning to dance in the rain

Brought to you by:

Jessica Carter l DRE #01490419 l 818.590.4246 l

"Your Fountainwood neighbor and local area specialist"

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