Now that rainy season is officially here in Costa Rica, it's time to prepare your home for the seasonal weather. These steps, most of which you can do yourself, will help keep you and your home in Costa Rica safer.
- Clean your roof gutters. If you don’t clean your gutters thoroughly after dry season, the first big rain could cause an overflow, leading to roof damage, leaks, or breaking your gutters completely.
- Clean your ground drainage gutters. With the heavy rains, you want to make sure all run-off is being diverted away from your house and not going to cause flooding.
- Trim those trees hanging over your roof. Rain is heavy and the extra weight of water can often cause limbs to break, which could damage your roof.
- Paint, varnish and seal. Protect the outdoor surfaces of your home – wood, metal, concrete and natural stone – from inclement weather. Use anti-corrosive paint for metal; varnish for wood; and check with your local hardware or paint store for sealants you can use on concrete and natural stone.
- Clean slippery surfaces. The increase of moisture in the air causes mildew to grow. To avoid dangerous slips and falls on your driveway and pathways to your house, wash them regularly with a power washer to take off any green slime. You can also sprinkle lime powder (calcium hydroxide – called “cal” in Costa Rica) to kill off the mildew.
- Fix your roof leaks. Usually you don’t even know you have a roof leak until the first hard rains. Get them fixed as soon as possible so they don’t expand and become an even bigger problem. Be sure to fix the roof and not just the ceiling.
- Buy battery back-ups. You will want to connect all of your fragile electronics – flat screen TV, DVD player, computer, iPod or iPad, high-tech cappuccino maker, etc. – to UPS battery back-ups with surge protection, or at the very least a surge protection powerstrip from the lightning storms. If a lightning storm is happening close to where you live, it’s better to unplug everything for complete protection until the storm passes.
- Watch your pool PH. Extra rain and the acid in rain (Costa Rica is a volcanic country) can throw off your pool’s PH, causing the water to turn green. During rainy season, check your pool’s PH frequently and consult with your pool supplies store for help.
- Fumigate around your house. When the rains bring Costa Rica back to life that includes the millions of insects that seem to hatch overnight. Fumigating around the perimeter of your home (natural or otherwise) will help keep the critters out of your living space. There also are many natural remedies for controlling the leaf cutter ants that like to voraciously destroy your garden this time of year.
- Avoid dengue fever. Make sure not to have any standing water in your garden or around your property (buckets, unused flower pot plates, etc.) to avoid breeding places for mosquitoes, which can carry dengue fever in Costa Rica.
- Turn off irrigation systems. If you have irrigation systems on timers, you can turn them off during rainy season to avoid wasting water.
- Bring in the garden furniture. Outdoor patio furniture and cushions are best brought in under cover to not get ruined by excess moisture.
- Buy rain gear. New door mats help keep your floors clean. Having an umbrella stand by the front door keeps track of your umbrellas so you always have one when you need one. Owning a pair of rubber boots in Costa Rica is a must.
- Remember your pets. Have a safe and dry place for your pets to go during rain storms.
- Use a dehumidifier. A great method of battling humidity is to use a commercial dehumidifier or GoldenRod dehumidifiers in closets. Or if you have air-conditioning, run it an hour a day to remove moisture.
LIVE IN ATENAS, COSTA RICA
These Costa Rica rainy season home protection tips come from Pure Life Development of Atenas realtors Dennis Easters and Gerardo Gonzalez-Porras. In beautiful Atenas, Costa Rica, Pure Life Development of Atenas specializes in Atenas homes for sale, Costa Rica properties for sale and Costa Rica vacation rentals. See this video for an idea of what it would be like to live in Atenas, Costa Rica or to visit on vacation.
Article by Shannon Farley