The winter is on its way at last and we are suffering rain pouring into homes, storm force winds and heavy rain with occasional hailstones so it won’t be long before we receive calls from people who say they have rain pouring into their homes.
We all rest easy here in Portugal during the long spring and summer month. Our motivation is to find shade not think about rain and hour home flooding or leaking.
That’s why it’s a shock to the system when it actually happens.
Rains pouring into their home where does it come from
Under the external doors
Through the window frames
Through the floor
These are the most likely problem areas –
Missing or broken roof tiles, Bent or rusted through roof flashings, Blocked gutters, and downpipes. Miss aligner roof tiles due to the roof timbers sagging.
Adjoining buildings – usually, it’s down to bent or rusted through flashings between the two houses, it could also be caused by an internal rainwater pipe built into the wall.
Under the external doors – Portuguese doors rarely incorporate a thresh system and use a piece of stone or marble. The wind can simply blow the water under the door. You can install a thresh by simply cutting the door and installing one underneath.
Through the window frames – The window frames in Portuguese houses and apartments are fitted with a damp proof course around them like they are in the UK. They rely on a thin bead of silicon sealer the keep out the rain. Trouble is these silicon joints are often applied to damp stone or render so don’t stick properly. You may have to cut them out and reapply silicon on a warm dry day.
Through the floor – This is usually the most problematic area. We are used to damp floors here in old houses and some more recent builds!. The floor will not have had a damp proof course installed so when there is a sudden downpour rain from outside cam come under the house and appear in pools on your ground floors. This problem can be treated but it is very disruptive and costly. Insist on a damp proof membrane being installed.
When we think of Portugal the last thing that we think of is Heavy Rain. That is until you own a property here.
If you own a property in Portugal you will no doubt spend more time here and experience the two wet season of the year.
Obviously some areas of Portugal are drier than others but we do get very heavy rain.
When we are talking to our clients about their new build of property renovation we always have to remind them that we need to take care of the heavy rain.
Tale or instance flat roofs, balconies, verandas and patios all have to be sealed properly and there must be the correct slopes to shed the water quickly. Even the more mundane things like calcada cobbled patios must be laid to a fall so that they do not get damaged by pooling water.
So it is best to prepare your home for such eventualities as storms and heavy rain while you are away and your Portuguese property is closed up.
Here are 5 tips. 1 Before you leave your property shut up make sure that the gutters and drains around your property are clear of dead leaves, ivy and other creepers and dirt.
2 Lower the water level in your swimming pool or even better have an overflow fitted so no matter what amount of rain comes your swimming pool will not overflow.
3 Check the condition of your flat roof, balcony, veranda and patio tiles if there is grout missing from between the tiles or worse plants growing out of them. Get them fixed before the heavy rains of the winter. Leaking flat roofs, balconies, verandas and patios can cause penetrating damp inside your property.
4 Check that your gutters and drain pipes are solidly fixed and not blocked. Leaking gutters are a major source of penetrating damp.
5 Ventilate your home – We understand that it feels right to lock all the internal doors from a security stand point but if you have no air circulation during periods of heavy rain you are increasing the likelihood of condensation build up inside your rooms. Consider installing passive ventilation or even better a solar ventilation panel from Grammer Solar or SolarVenti.
Keeping rain out of your home is highly topical at the moment.
The monsoon like rains we are having are causing problem from flooding homes to even knocking the down. Keeping rain out of old stone homes in Portugal is a must as they can be demolished by the rain!
On a slightly less serious note but still terribly inconvenient is water from rain coming into your home from roof terraces, verandas adjoining buildings and broken roof tiles to name but a few causes.
Just to put this into perspective. We were recently asked to fix a roof leak on an older home. The problem was a suspected broken roof tile. In fact it was TEN broken roof tiles. The TV engineer and a painter had been walking on the roof tiles without protecting them and as a result the roof was leaking in ten places. They must have heard the tiles crack but ignored the problem and left it for the home owner to find later.
The rain water entered the roof and was lying on top of the ceiling in a pool. Once the pool was large enough it started to enter the bedroom through the ceiling light fitting and also into the kitchen via the electric wall socket.
Although it only took us 20 minutes to resolve the problem our client could have done with out the stress and cost of redecoration that was required.