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Five Tips to Prevent Flooding in your House

Not everything in Los Rodriguez life is glamorous…actually, there is not that much glamour in our lives, period. We try to highlight the great times, but as Dr. House would say, life isn’t always sunshine and puppies! Up until last Friday it felt like it rained every single day for the past two weeks, which is fantastic for the plants in the garden and flower beds, but too much rain can be detrimental to the “sunshine and puppies” feeling.  A few days ago (on Leslie’s birthday) while Leslie was out with Penny and I was at work, a short but powerful storm blew through Louisville. Leslie called me while I was at work because she was worried about walking from the car to the house while carrying P because our driveway had turned into Rodriguez River and we had a new lake in the back yard. I drove to the house to see how bad this situation was and Leslie was not exaggerating; I had to park the car at the front of the driveway, take my shoes and socks off inside the car, and roll my pants up in order to walk into the house. I am certain we could have done some bodyboarding in our driveway. No todo en la vida de Los Rodriguez es glamoroso… la verdad es que no hay mucho glamour en nuestras vidas. Tratamos de destacar los buenos momentos, pero como dice Dr. House la vida no siempre te da cachorros y arcoiris! Creo que ha llovido cada dia durante estas 2 semanas, lo que es fantastico para las plantas en el jardin y la huerta, pero mucha lluvia tampoco es bueno y no ayuda a la moral, no es igual a cachorros y arcoiris. Un par de dias atras (durante el cumpleanos de Leslie) mientras Leslie hacia tramites y yo estaba en el trabajo, una tormenta corta pero poderosa paso por Louisville. Leslie me llamo al trabajo porque estaba preocupada de no poder caminar del auto a la casa cargando a Penny porque nuestra estrada de autos se habia convertido en el Rio Rodriguez y nuestro patio era un lago. Maneje a casa a ver la situacion y Leslie no exageraba; tuve que estacionar en el unico lugar donde el agua estaba baja, sacarme los zapatos y calcetines, enrollar mis pantalones y caminar a la entrada de la casa. Estoy seguro que se podia hace bodyboarding. 
The storm drain in our neighbor’s front yard was working perfectly, but the issue was with the drains behind our property and the next street over. The water from those areas found the path of least resistance through our driveway and yard to get to the only unclogged drain. The thought of having a flooded home was a sobering one. Fortunately, the weather calmed over the afternoon, allowing the flow of water (and our anxiety) to slowly decrease. Our basement had only minimal water that the sump pump removed effectively and the plants in the garden did not suffer any harm (my raised beds were almost completely under water). El desague de tormenta en el patio del frente de nuestros vecinos funciono a la perfeccion, pero el problema fueron los desagues atras de nuestra casa y la calle de atras. El agua de esos lugares encontro el camino de minima resistencia a travez de nuestra propiedad para llegar al alcantarillado que no estaba bloqueado. La idea de tener una casa inundada te llena de angustia. Por suerte el tiempo se calmo en la tarde, haciendo que el flujo de agua (y nuestra preocupacion) bajara de a poco. Nuestro subterraneo tuvo solo un minimo de agua que nuestra bomba removio sin problema y las plantas afuera no sufrieron danos (mis jardineras casi estaba completamente sumergidas)

that creepy sound you hear in the background are tornado sirens

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we took a ton of photos to show the sewage department when they came to do an inspection
I’m certain the reason our basement stayed (mostly) dry was thanks to a few precautionary measures we put in place a few months ago after we had a similar flash flood situation and experienced quite a bit more flooding in our basement. If you want to minimize water in your house, here is a handy list for things to check:

  1. Check that your sump pump is working properly, and if you don’t have one, think about investing in one.
  2. Keep your gutters clean!
  3. Make sure your gutters are directing the water away from your foundation. If not, I recommend adding plastic extensions to the spouts, they are cheap and you can buy them online or at hardware stores.
  4. If you have flower beds or garden beds around your foundation, make sure water runs away from your house so the beds don’t pool up with water close to your foundation.
  5. Make sure the drains around your house aren’t covered in debris and that nothing is blocking the drain pipes.

If you have consistent problems with pooling water, try calling the sewage department and have them come inspect the drains around your house. We called MSD and they found that the overgrown brush behind our house and the houses around us was preventing water from entering the drain pipes, and the main drain directly behind our house was covered in debris from previous storms. Hopefully clearing all of that out will help when we get another big rain!

Estoy seguro que una de las razones por la que el subterraneo no se inundo, fue gracias a las medidas de precaucion que tomamos un par de meses atras cuando una situacion similar occurio y agua entro a nuestra casa. Si quieren minimizar la posibilidad de inundacion, aqui hay una lista de cosas que pueden hacer: 

  1. Revisen su bomba de agua y asegurense que funciona bien, y si no tienen, piensen en invertir en una. 
  2. Limpien las canaletas!
  3. Asegurense que las canaletas dirijan el agua lejos de la fundacion de la casa. Si el agua cae cerca, recomiendo extensiones plasticas, son baratas y se pueden comprar en internet, ferreterias, y tiendas del hogar. Aqui les dejo un link de las que nosotros tenemos en casa.
  4. Si tienen jardineras, asegurense que el agua es se aleja de la fundacion de la casa y no se acumula en pozas. 
  5. Asegurense que los desagues y alcantarilla estan libres de escombro y basura que puede bloquear el paso del agua lluvia. 

Si tienen problemas de agua que persisten, llamen al departamento de agua de la ciudad para que inspeccionen el area. Nosotros llamamos a MSD y encontraron plantas que crecieron alrededor de los desagues que prevenian que el agua entrara al alcantarillado y otro desague tapado con basura de la tormenta anterior. Espero que limpiando todo eso ayude a prevenir una situacion similar en una proxima tormenta! 

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