Costa Rica Living – The rainy season is here. And that means changes have to be made ensure the rains don’t wreak havoc on your home.
Here is our list:
- Topping the list is cleaning the gutters. Leaves, dirt and all kinds of debris will accumulate during the dry season. Overflow, roof damage and leaks can be avoided by a simple cleaning.
- Fix roof leaks. Even the smallest leak can become a serious problem as the season continues, especially in heavy downpours. Remember, most of the roofs are made of tin, a small pinhole can wreak disaster.
- Clean walks and eliminate slippery surfaces to avoid dangerous slips and falls. Use a power wash (a simple garden hose won’t do the job) and muriatic acid to remove the green slime and mildew.
- Seal and paint outdoor surfaces. Use exterior paints on metal, roof paint for the tin roof panels, varnish for wood. A concrete sealer for cement floors.
- Flashlights (an batteries), candles (and matches) will provide illumination during power failures. 3
- A surge protector (should be used all year round) will protect your electronics, ie TV, fridge, coffee maker from damage when the power returns or intermittent spikes.
- If you have pets, don’t forget their needs. Some dogs, for example, are frightened of lightning, they will look for a safe place. Others will cause all sorts of damage to get indoors (or outdoors). Like you, your pets also need a safe, dry place during the rains.
- Fumigate. Can’t stress this more. The rains bring back life to insects that seem appear overnight. Especially ants. Fumigating the area around the house will keep you relatively insect free. Repeat as necessary. Hardware stores sell products relatively cheap, that are easily mixed with water and can be applied with a spray bottle. You can make a strong mix on the first application. Try not to use the pre-mixed, typically they are weak and their effects not long-lasting. Don’t forget to spray the ceiling corners if you have a wood ceiling and the baseboards.
- Buy rain gear. Waterproof boots – galoshes or rubber boots the best – umbrellas, waterproof jackets and so on. It may be easy to stay warm and dry inside the house, but eventually you will have to go outside. Remember that just because it says waterproof it doesn’t mean it is. Test it out with the first rain, don’t wait of an emergency only to find …
- Dengue fever is common during the rainy season. Eliminate all standing water around your house and check for your neighbours as well. Old tires, buckets, flower pots, anywhere water can accumulate and become a breeding source for mosquitoes, that can carry dengue fever.
During heavy rain stay indoors to avoiding the risk of deadly lightning strikes. Lightning is one of the most underrated severe weather hazards.
The Warning Signs. High winds, rainfall, and a darkening cloud cover are the warning signs for possible cloud-to-ground lightning strikes. No place is absolutely safe from the lightning threat, however, some places are safer than others. Large enclosed structures are safer than smaller, or open, structures.
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