Flood Mitigation After Hurricane Threat #1

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News Headlines report California and Mexico in destress from the the hurricane Hilary causing many homes and businesses to be in need of professional flood mitigation.

As the hurricane center has passed and San Diego breathes a sigh of relief, it’s crucial to shift our focus from preparation to flood mitigation. Hurricane Hilary might have spared us the worst, but the potential for flooding remains a concern for homeowners, especially those living near waterways and ocean shores.

In this post-hurricane period, it’s essential to take proactive steps to safeguard your home and property from potential water damage. Any standing water should be removed through professional flood mitigation services as the water inside your home can easily cause mold to form. Here’s a comprehensive guide on flood mitigation strategies to ensure your safety and peace of mind.

As hurricane Hilary has been downgraded to a tropical storm, the threat of flooding and the need for flood mitigation has been reduced.

As hurricane Hilary has been downgraded to a tropical storm, the threat of flooding and the need for flood mitigation has been reduced.

Assessing Post-Hurricane Risks

Although Hurricane Hilary didn’t deliver the feared devastation, some San Diegans now grapple with unexpected post-storm water challenges. The abundance of sudden water was not anticipated by many, leading to the emergence of standing water on certain properties. The presence of standing water can become a breeding ground for pests, elevate indoor humidity levels, and even facilitate the formation of mold spores.

While the hurricane’s impact varied across San Diego county, it’s imperative for affected residents to embark on post-hurricane cleanup efforts. Flood mitigation may be the first step for the recovery for some, while others may just need professional services for drying before the mold begins to form. 

Ensuring Basement and Windows Security

As part of your comprehensive flood mitigation strategy, don’t overlook the importance of assessing basement and windows security. During the pre-hurricane walkthrough, it’s crucial to examine windows and identify any potential vulnerabilities. The basement, often overlooked, demands special attention. Allocating extra time to inspect these areas contributes to reinforcing your home’s flood defenses. Consider the value of a post-hurricane walkthrough as well, allowing you to address any new concerns that might have arisen during the storm.

Maybe doing a post hurricane walkthrough would be a good idea also. While the home is still wet and damp, you can see things that are not obvious when dry. For example, wind has an impact on rainfall. It is easy to say all rain comes down from the sky, but during a hurricane, water is going every way due to the wind storming. Look for where water went around the edges of your home, maybe you can see rain gaining access under the window eaves.

Also, you can check to make sure there is not any excessive standing water. As you did before the storm, check weather stripping to see how it performed. Often, weather stripping can become damaged or simply be improperly installed. If you discover any issues in your post hurricane walk through, call Orange for any assistance!

Flood Mitigation and Restoration

If water is standing after hurricane Hilary, you’ll want to call us immediately. We can rapidly come to your home and begin the flood mitigation process. The quicker you move to remove standing water the better as the issue can evolve into a mold problem. It is much easier to restore your home if we can get the water removed before the mold begins to form. After we have mold, we need to get mold technicians involved to test, remove, and make sure the environment is safe before you can return to your home.

We can rapidly restore a home with only recent flooding damage because we use professional drying tools and air moving machines that will get the job done quickly. If there is mold forming, you are going to need to take action. Mold is a major health risk to your family, but also a risk to your home’s value. Flood mitigation is something you want to move rapidly on, and we are standing by prepared to rush to your home for any of our flood mitigation services. 

Strengthening Your Home’s Defense

Drawing from our pre-Hurricane Hilary advice, which delved into effective sandbag deployment, consider this an extension of that guidance. Implementing plastic sheets to augment the sandbag’s functionality as a water barrier is a recommended enhancement. If you observed instances of excessive water accumulation during the storm, it’s wise to undertake measures to clear drains and strategically redirect water flow toward these drainage points.

If you are experiencing any flooding due to leaky roof, water coming from ceiling, water coming from a wall or moisture in a normally dry interior space, you may still need flood mitigation professionals to help you out. 

Future Preparations

Put your hands together, we have all survived San Diego’s first hurricane in nearly a century! San Diego is no place for hurricanes! San Diego County is a beautiful vacation destination and we are accustomed to 72 degree weather. This storm may have brought a touch of fear to our locals, but with prevention we can build. Preventative actions to protect your home are never a waste. Your home is worth protecting as it should last for generations to come.

If you are seeking to be more preventative for mold, electrical or plumbing issues, the best thing to do is plan how to make yourself feel more confident. A home’s needs can be overwhelming if you do not organize all the details and plan to properly maintain every aspect of your home. We suggest you look into doing regular self inspections of your home. You can always add in a professional inspection of spaces you do not wish to go, like the attic and crawl spaces. Look for a simple self check list like this one. Plan to inspect your home as often as it makes you feel confident of the home’s safety, but be prepared to do it at least once a year. 

Restoring Home to Pre-Hurricane Summer Times

Following the storm, as you embark on the process of restoring your home to its pre-hurricane state, pay attention to the measures you took for flood mitigation. For those who followed our recommendation to elevate electrical appliances and systems, it’s now time to return them to their initial positions. This action aligns with the revised flood warning status and ensures that your home is well-prepared for future challenges.

Documenting and Being Prepared

If you took photos and prepared your essential documents for this hurricane scare, do not feel disappointed, they can still be good to have secured. Just as we were announcing the hurricane hitting SoCal, Los Angeles had a 5.0 earthquake! Keeping your important documents in water sealed containers is still a safe move, having an emergency kit and a family plan are great tools for home safety.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Hilary, the threat of flooding still lingers. By following these flood mitigation strategies, and working with flood mitigation experts you can take proactive steps to protect your home, belongings, and loved ones. Whether it’s elevating appliances, using sandbags strategically, or ensuring proper sealing, these measures can make a significant difference in safeguarding your property. Stay prepared, stay informed, and stay safe in the face of future challenges.

San Diego Prepares for Hurricane Hilary

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San Diego is Expecting a Hurricane?

A CNN article published last night showed the Hurricane will most likely cause significant flooding in San Diego. The idea that a hurricane is brewing south west of San Diego might create some fear among residents. While San Diego is in the path of Hurricane Hilary, it should die down before it reaches our homes. However, homes near the ocean shores may see a change in tides. Homeowners near the beaches and other waterways should consider preparing for flooding and water mitigation. 

Also, in desert areas they are making flash flood warnings as this may be a shock to the desert communities. We have not seen a hurricane in San Diego since before they had begun naming hurricanes

Map of Hurricane Hilary’s Approach to San Diego

Map of Hurricane Hilary: The predicted path of Hurricane Hilary's approach to San Diego and other SoCal cities. Hurricane Hilary Photos were pulled 8:28 am 8/18/23 from the National Hurricane Center website.

This graphic shows an approximate representation of coastal areas under a hurricane warning (red), hurricane watch (pink), tropical storm warning (blue) and tropical storm watch (yellow). The orange circle indicates the current position of the center of the tropical cyclone. The black line and dots show the National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecast track of the center at the times indicated.

The dot indicating the forecast center location will be black if the cyclone is forecast to be tropical and will be white with a black outline if the cyclone is forecast to be extratropical. If only an L is displayed, then the system is forecast to be a remnant low. The letter inside the dot indicates the NHC’s forecast intensity for that time:
D: Tropical Depression – wind speed less than 39 MPH
S: Tropical Storm – wind speed between 39 MPH and 73 MPH
H: Hurricane – wind speed between 74 MPH and 110 MPH
M: Major Hurricane – wind speed greater than 110 MPH

NHC tropical cyclone forecast tracks can be in error. This forecast uncertainty is conveyed by the track forecast “cone”, the solid white and stippled white areas in the graphic. The solid white area depicts the track forecast uncertainty for days 1-3 of the forecast, while the stippled area depicts the uncertainty on days 4-5. Historical data indicate that the entire 5-day path of the center of the tropical cyclone will remain within the cone about 60-70% of the time. To form the cone, a set of imaginary circles are placed along the forecast track at the 12, 24, 36, 48, 72, 96, and 120 h positions, where the size of each circle is set so that it encloses 67% of the previous five years official forecast errors. The cone is then formed by smoothly connecting the area swept out by the set of circles.

Ledged for the Hurricane Hilary map showing the different classifications of the hurricane and the colors associated with the map.

The map and map legend were provided by the National Hurricane Center

How to Prepare for Flooding from Hurricane Hilary

If your home sits near waterways or the ocean, you may want to barricade the water from your home with sandbags or other means. Before the risk of flood from Hurricane Hilary, have a talk with the household about emergency procedures. Make sure all household members know where the power shut off switch is, gas shut off, and the water shut off valve. Assemble a cache of essential battery-powered emergency tools, including flashlights with spare batteries, basic tools, and protective gloves, to swiftly navigate through challenging situations.

Use sandbags to channel excess water towards the nearest optimal drain, minimizing the risk of water accumulation from Hurricane Hilary. 

Use sandbags to channel excess water towards the nearest optimal drain, minimizing the risk of water accumulation from Hurricane Hilary. 

Prepare Your Home For Flooding

If you can place sandbags as a barricade to prevent water from getting to your property. Utilize sandbags strategically as a protective barrier to deter water infiltration. Enhance the effectiveness of sandbag placement by layering plastic sheets beneath the lower stacked bags, subsequently adding bags on top to secure them in place. Clear drains near your home, and work to use sandbags to guide water to the best drain close by. Employ sandbags ingeniously to channel excess water towards the nearest optimal drain, minimizing the risk of water accumulation from Hurricane Hilary. 

Capture Comprehensive Documentation: Take photos of your home before the storm, for insurance purposes, you can take photos of all your belongings and also of your prevention tactics. Make sure your important documents are safe, in a water tight container. Make sure your emergency items you prepared are ready to access when needed. If there are any areas of the home that are at risk of severe flooding, you may want to consider a sump pump to mitigate the flooding in an emergency. 

Secure Basement Windows and Doors: If your home has a basement, ensure that windows and doors are adequately sealed and reinforced. Installing window well covers and weather stripping can help prevent water intrusion and reduce the risk of flooding in your basement during heavy rainfall or flooding events. All windows of your home should also be closed during the rainfall and if possible, weather stripped prior to the rainfall to keep water out. 

Elevate Electrical Systems: Elevate your home’s electrical systems, including outlets, switches, and circuit breakers, above potential flood levels if at all possible. Weather stripping electrical boxes or around any housing for electrical systems that could be at risk of getting wet. This precaution can significantly reduce the risk of electrical damage and hazards in the event of flooding. 

Elevate Appliances: Elevate major appliances such as water heaters, furnaces, and laundry machines on raised platforms or sturdy cinder blocks. Raising these appliances above potential flood levels can prevent damage and enhance their functionality during and after flooding events. In the case of Hurricane Hilary, we hope flooding levels will not get this high for anyone. 

Minor Flooding of a San Diego Home as we prepare for Hurricane Hilary.

Water Mitigation and Flood Damage Restoration

As water mitigation experts, our team is ready to help you right here in our home base of San Diego! If your home has flooding, we are here to help 24 hours a day! Our team can be at your home rapidly here in San Diego to help combat whatever hurricane Hilary brings us in rainfall. 

Do not procrastinate, if you have any standing water on your property and want it removed, call us! The longer water is sitting, especially within your home, the more likely you are to experience mold spores that rapidly grow and spread. While we do handle mold removal and restoration, the Orange Restoration team is here to make it so you never have to experience this disaster. Mold removal is very costly and requires professional involvement. Please do not let your flood turn into a breeding ground for mold. 

Orange Restoration Wrap Up 

San Diego is about to experience the first hurricane since the late 1930s, with that many homeowners may be shocked. If you are in San Diego and have a risky flood area due to nearby waterways, you should prepare for fluctuations in the water flow due to Hurricane Hilary and use tips to prevent flooding in your home. Sandbags might be something you consider buying before the Hurricane Hilary gets too close as they may become harder to find.

If you have others living with you, be sure to prepare them for the possibility of flooding and discuss emergency procedures including location of shut off valves and power shut off. If you already have flooding, call Orange Restoration today to help remove this risk from your property. 

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