By Ivo Henfling
The famous Costa Rica rainy season, also called the wet season but baptized some years ago by tourism gurus "the green season" has just started. For most days, we have nice weather in the mornings and might have some rain in the afternoon. Some days might be a bit gloomy or fogged up and it doesn't rain all day long.
Yesterday, we had so much rain come out of the sky, I thought of Noah and his Ark, I was waiting for that Great Flood. As many of you know I am not very religious, but I almost started praying. Then I thought of the gutters and drains at my house and the damage rain can do to your property, which is when I though to write this blog. if you own Costa Rica real estate, you should read on....
The Costa Rican rainy season, sorry.... green season, is beautiful from June until mid-September as you can generally expect a nice morning and a rainy afternoon or night. After mid-September through October and November, it can get pretty bad. Those of us coming from cold countries prefer the rain over 6 feet of snow, so we put up with it and enjoy it because everything is so green. Where I live, in Escazu, we have 80 – 120 inches of average yearly rainfall abut if you live in Atenas you can count on getting only 60 – 80 inches. Places like San Carlos (Ciudad Quesada) get 120 inches or more.
But, the start of the green season does mean that it is time for you to start paying attention to some things most don't worry about until it’s too late:
If you live in a Costa Rica condominium building, you need to connect with the administration and make sure the condominium administrator had the gutters of the building cleaned and has taken care of everything they do at the beginning of the green season.
If you have a single family home in Costa Rica, you should walk your property and look at the following things:
1. Clean your gutters and downspouts.
2. Make sure your gutters don’t leak, try them out with a hose
3. Clean your drain boxes if you have them.
4. If you have any storm ditches on your property, make sure the water can get away and they’re not obstructed.
5. Put your garden furniture away or cover it.
6. Grease your front gate
Most of us have trees around us everywhere, so the gutters will fill up again in no-time. There are some solutions that have worked well for me:
1. Put a wire mesh over the gutters that are close to trees, they will stop larger leaves to go into your gutter and will be easier to keep clean in those gutters that are difficult to get to (see photos). Make sure the wire mesh will be fixed to the gutter on the inside (under the roof) and pulled over the gutter but not fixed on the other side, so you can get underneath to clean it if necessary.
2. Replace the downspouts for cones and chains on those gutters that are easy to get to and are not so close to the trees. The leaves don’t accumulate so easily and it’s nice to see the rain come down the chain when it rains.
3. Don’t let the water that’s coming down the roof through your downspouts go into a hole in the ground. Make sure you build drain boxes for each one of them and also put wiremesh in them (see photos) and have those boxes drain into a 4” - 6" PVC pipe, depending on the size of your roof, that goes into the rain ditch at the front of your property, so you can have your neighbors worry about all the water.
Enjoy your rainy season in Costa Rica and try to stay dry.
By Ivo Henfling, your realtor who also sells property in Costa Rica when it rains.
Email or call me now (506) 8834-4515, so I can show you the properties in Santa Ana I have for sale. When it rains, it is a very good time to look at Costa Rica homes for sale because you can see which one has leaking roofs, rotten gutters, drainage problems and all kinds of important things that will help you to make a decision.