After the Bay Area Storm: Identifying Gutter Problems

Plenty of people love pineapple, including Californians. But many residents of the Golden State did not like the recent “Pineapple Express” which rolled through last month.

Rain, Winds Pummel California

For those unfamiliar with the term, a Pineapple Express is a meteorological occurrence which tends to beget stormy conditions. The one which struck the West Coast in December produced single-day rainfall totals that hadn’t been seen in northern California in five years. San Francisco and Oakland, two cities which aren’t used to major rain events, each received over two inches of precipitation and Santa Rosa in the North Bay recorded over four inches of rain. As a result, several parts of the Bay Area saw significant flooding.


Gutter problems
Sometimes, there’s simply no place for all the rain to go.

The storm brought high winds throughout southern California as well, and even spawned a small tornado in Los Angeles. The F0 tornado was still powerful enough to damage some roofs, knock down some trees, and blow out windows in the area. The rain and wind combined to knock power out to hundreds of thousands of utility customers, cause an uptick in motor vehicle accidents, and cancel hundreds of flights throughout California. A few people were injured, but no deaths were reported.

Storms Highlight Weaknesses in Gutters, Drainage Systems

For better or worse, the Pineapple Express severely tested the guttering and drainage systems on California homes. Though these gutters are built to withstand heavy rainfall, they could have been damaged by high winds or falling objects. And because the weather event occurred during December, it’s possible that many Californians put off storm repairs and cleanup until the holiday season was over – meaning that they may just now be starting to assess the damage to their property.

Simply removing this limb isn’t enough to get this home back to normal.

After the Storm, Repair Damage and Remove Standing Water

Even if you weren’t victimized by the Pineapple Express, you can still benefit from knowing what to do after a storm of this type. The first thing to do is to inspect your home’s roof and gutters and look for signs of damage. Minor repairs like shingle replacements and gutter reattachments can be done yourself, but if the damage is extensive, you may be better off calling in a professional.

In addition, you should identify the spots on your property where water pooled and collected. Smaller puddles in your yard can usually be eliminated by filling the depressed area using topsoil and sod or other vegetation. But if your property looks like a marsh or lake after a storm, you may have to redirect the water runoff using French drains, swales, or ditches; or engage in some serious property regrading to direct the runoff water elsewhere.

Like this yard, for instance.

If the standing water is near your home, check your gutters for clogs or leaks and address the issue as soon as possible. If there is puddling near a downspout, consider using a splash block or downspout extension to displace the water further away from the home. Failure to properly channel the water
can result in eroded siding and fascia boards, flooded basements or attics, or even foundation buckles and cracks.

If the damage is severe enough so that you require a gutter or roof replacement, contact Harry Helmet for a free estimate. They provide high-quality work and superior customer service, and they stand behind their workmanship with strong warranties. Call 1-888-5-HELMET or fill out this form to set up an appointment – and get your home ready for the next major storm.

Written by Del Thebaud

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