As I sit here writing this, I find myself listening to the pitter patter of raindrops for what seems like the thousandth time this month. The rainy weather has been nearly constant this spring and it shows no signs of letting up. A few dull thunderclaps can be heard off in the distance and while I drink my coffee, I feel that soft satisfaction roll over me – who doesn’t love a nice thunderstorm in the early morning hours to knock some of the edge off the heat of the day and start things with the kind of slow pace that only rain can bring to the day. While the rainy weather can make for great sleeping, it can cause a lot of issues for homeowners and become quite the nuisance.
Rainy Weather Effects on Your Home
Rainy weather, particularly the highly volatile nature of thunderstorms, can bring with it hail as we’ve already seen. Hail is a bad word in real estate offices right now as the recent storms wrecked havoc on homes under contract and because such large areas were affected by sizable hail, getting a roofer or claims adjuster to take a look at your home has become harder by the day. Some roofers have said they are backed up until November! The damage to rooftops, windows, siding, fences, decks, and skylights is costly and when a home is under contract, there is little time to waste to get these items repaired. Everything becomes an emergency and because the rain doesn’t stop, it becomes even more difficult as roof replacements and repairs have to be timed to the weather. Many homeowners are frustrated and closings are delayed, causing a ripple effect to other closings that had no issues of hail damage. We as agents find ourselves juggling the repair schedules and the closing calendars trying to make both work together and keep everyone on track from the sellers and buyers to the lenders, inspectors, and title companies. It’s not easy, but we keep making progress every day as we work magic and pull in favors from roofers and other tradespeople to get things done as quick as we can.
Consistent rain leads to saturated ground…and that leads to the dreaded F word: flooding. Even homes not in flood plains can experience flooding. Whether caused by oversaturated soil, water runoff, backed up gutters, clogged drains, or even as we saw recently, wind blowing so forcefully that it literally forced water under doors and into small holes that normally wouldn’t be noticed and take on water – all of these can cause panic in even the most stoic of homeowners. The rainy weather just won’t quit and all that water has to go somewhere. It’s also affecting some sellers as buyers are now seeing water pooling in places water wouldn’t normally and are asking for French drains to be installed, changes to the grade of the property, or just flat out refusing to even consider the home as a potential purchase.
Water and dampness, particularly in hot, humid weather brings another dreaded intrusion – mold. Mold is probably one of the biggest dangers, as left unchecked, it can spread to places you can’t see (inside the walls in particular) and create a hostile environment for those with weakened immune systems or breathing difficulties. Early detection and remediation are the keys here. Don’t let the mold spread and become a long term issue. In the world of real estate, it can ruin a sale or cost ridiculous amounts to remove, so get rid of it before it becomes a bigger problem. Remember, if you have any leaks or water intrusion, you want to get the water out of there quickly and keep the area dry. The longer is sits, particularly in warm weather like this, the more dangerous that water becomes.
Do I even have to mention the mosquitoes? My legs look like they’ve been attacked by a thousand tiny needles. Typically, I’m the last person to get bit at a backyard BBQ, but this year, I’ve donated enough blood to those evil creatures to deserve a Red Cross medal of honor. They’re everywhere and they’re breeding faster and faster as they love the damp places to lay their eggs. Buy stock in bug sprays and citronella candles folks, you can retire with some savvy investments – you heard it hear first! It also brings worries of West Nile virus and the newest threat, the Zika virus. Let’s hope neither pop up and become an issue.
And it’s not just mosquitoes, it’s all the insects. Last time we had this much rain, the centipedes came out in full force. Not the little ones, we’re talking about the big, ugly, nasty ones. We also start seeing strange bugs that don’t normally appear in mass quantities. It’s a entomologist’s dream come true. All those critters need a home too and since many of them live underground, they now need somewhere dry and safe from the rainy weather, so guess who they take on as a roommate? You guessed it. They move right in and make themselves at home in your house. Now is probably a good time to make sure you’ve paid that pest control company to spray your home and the perimeter around it.
What’s worse than a horde of mosquitoes in your living room? A nest of snakes in your attic. We recently had a property that had this exact problem. The snakes, looking for somewhere dry to rest for awhile, found a small gap between the roof line and the house and created a snake highway into the attic. In and out they went, unfettered by humans as they made their nest in the insulation in the attic. Indiana Jones would have packed his bags immediately. A snake wrangler was called out and he’s removed the snakes and sealed their potential access points. Homes aren’t designed to be airtight and there are many cracks and crevices that invite snakes and other animals into your cool, dry, safe home. Keep an eye out for ingress and egress points and watch for signs of snakes and rodents. The good news about snakes? They usually keep the rodents away and are much less destructive. The bad thing about snakes? Well, they’re snakes.
So much for sitting on the back porch and quietly watching the thunderstorms roll through, huh? Just remember, there is a solution for everything. Some of it may be covered by your homeowners insurance. The best thing you can do is to document everything – when it happened, what the weather conditions were like at the time, where the water came from, etc. The more info you collect, the better chance you’ll have of correcting the problem in the long terms. Rainy weather can be a beautiful thing, but it can also serve as a reminder that whatever we build can be quickly taken back by nature. Now let’s all hope those 100 degree dry summer days return soon.
image courtesy of SchwartzTX