Tips to deal with leaky roofs, muddy pools in Phoenix

Tips to deal with leaky roofs, muddy pools in Phoenix

Tips to deal with leaky roofs, muddy pools in Phoenix

How to deal with a leaky roof after a storm. (Photo: Feng Yu/Getty Images/Hemera)

Homeowners across the Valley are dealing with muddy, overflowing pools and sagging ceilings from leaky roofs following Sunday night’s deluge of rain.

Here are tips from roofing and pool experts on what homeowners can do to recover from the storm damage:

Ceiling damage

If sections of your ceiling are sagging and wet, poking a small hole in the ceiling to let water escape will actually help minimize drywall damage.

«The number one thing I think a homeowner should do is poke a hole in the bubble,» said Lori Clark, owner of Right Way Roofing in Mesa. «You want the water to come straight down; you want to keep the water isolated. If you don’t poke a hole in the bubble, the water will start spreading out across the ceiling, causing more drywall to get wet.»

The storm had Clark «overwhelmed» with phone calls Monday. Right Way Roofing is securing tarps to customers’ roofs to protect them from any further moisture until they can assess and repair all the damages.

«The first thing you want to do is call a roofer and get a tarp,» she said. While homeowners could buy a tarp at a home-improvement store and try to secure their own roof, she warns against it — especially for tile roofs. «Leave it to the professionals. Tile roofs are very slippery when it’s wet.»

Clark recommends getting an estimate from a roofer before getting an insurance company involved. That way, the homeowner will know whether the damage exceeds the deductible on their homeowners policy or is severe enough to warrant making a claim, which can potentially affect insurance rates.

Homeowners should be wary of roofing companies that push them to file an insurance claim and sign a document saying they’ll work exclusively with that roofing company to perform the repairs. «There are a lot of storm chasers out there who will try to get you to file a claim even if you don’t need to,» Clark said.

Before hiring a contractor, always make sure they’re in good standing with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors (azroc.gov). Customers should also inquire about a roofing company’s warranty, which Clark said is a minimum of two years to meet state standards.

Muddy pools

Bill Moore, owner of Moore’s Pool Service, on Monday saw a lot of muddy and overflowing pools — especially in Paradise Valley.

The main thing homeowners need to do is to make sure their pool pump and motor are not in standing water. If they are, do not turn on the equipment, or the motor could burn out and have to be replaced.

«The most critical part about the whole thing is, don’t turn your pump motor on if there’s standing water around the equipment,» Moore said.

Matt Barclay, owner of Blue Moose Pool Care in north Phoenix, added it’s a good idea to shut off the pool pump’s breaker during any major rainstorm.

If the pool equipment is dry, and the whole yard isn’t flooded, Moore recommends customers with DE or sand filters backwash their pools to drain some of the excess water. Then, turn on the pump and let it work until you can see how much debris is in the bottom.

«Basically, if it’s full of mud, you just let it settle. You need to see the bottom so you can see what we’re talking about. If it’s (full of) rocks and debris and a tremendous amount of sediment, it may have to be drained,» Moore said.

It may cost about $300 to $500 to drain an average pool and remove the debris, he estimated.

On Monday, Barclay said, several customers were calling about the high water level in their pools. Too much water in the pool isn’t an emergency, however, as long as the yard is landscaped to drain properly away from the home.

«With the heat we have, it’s going to evaporate pretty quickly,» he said.

If a homeowner doesn’t have a filter that can be backwashed to lower the water level, «you can buy a small horsepower garden-hose pump and plug it in and drain it slowly that way if somebody wants to lower the pool a little bit,» Barclay said.

To get the pool cleaner, faster, Barclay recommended pool owners with sand filters backwash the pool, add about 3 ounces of clarifier and repeat every 24 hours until the pool looks clear.

Sprinklers

How long can we give sprinklers a rest?

«Everyone in the Valley is safe to turn off their systems for at least the next day or two. After that, it’s entirely dependent on where you are,» said Patrick McClellan of Valley Rain Landscape & Maintenance in Gilbert.

People in the hardest-hit areas can likely leave their sprinklers off for a few days. Others may need to turn them back on before the weekend. The best way to tell when to turn the water back on is to check the soil in your yard and see if it seems dry.

Tips to deal with leaky roofs, muddy pools in Phoenix

Arizona rooms

Steve Shinn, owner of Homework Remodels in Phoenix, said another problem area homeowners are seeing is flooding of so-called Arizona rooms.

«Porches that have been enclosed over the years are having some flooding issues,» he said.

Homeowners may help prevent the problem by buying sandbags to protect the rooms from additional rains.

Reach the reporter at kara.morrison@arizonarepublic.com

What to do

Homeowner tips on dealing with common storm damage:

• If roof leaks have caused water to pool in pockets on your ceiling, poke a hole in the bubble to let the water drain out. This will minimize drywall damage.

• Call a licensed roofing contractor if your roof is leaking. They can apply a tarp to prevent any further damage while they assess and make needed repairs.

• Pool owners should make sure there’s no standing water around the pool equipment. Standing water could cause electrical damage to the motor, which is a potentially expensive repair.

• It’s safest to turn off the pool equipment during major storms.

• High water levels in your pool will not cause immediate damage as long as your yard is landscaped properly and can drain water away from your house.

• If you have an Arizona room or enclosed porch that sits lower and may be in danger of flooding, consider protecting the perimeter with sandbags from a home-improvement store.

• It’s OK turn off sprinkler systems for a few days if you live in the hardest-hit areas. The best way to tell when to turn sprinklers back on is to check the soil in your yard and see if it seems dry.


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