Building & Renovating

8 Rainy Season Problems Solved By Design Experts

From leaky ceilings and damp walls to blown-off roofs and flooded villages, these professionals give their helpful (and life-saving) tips

Original Article: Katherine Lopez Photography: & Real Living

The rainy season has come at full force, and while we battle it out on the flooded streets, we should also think about our houses.

Our houses take the most beating during our country’s tropical storm season, which lasts from June to October, and sometimes, beyond that. Here are some very important words of advice from architects, contractors, and environmental specialists on how to deal with the common problems that plague our homes when it rains.

During the rainy season, paint on our walls forms bubbles and cracks. What type of paint should I use, and should I repaint every surface?

“Latex elastomeric paint is the best material for masonry surfaces. It does not only waterproof the walls, it also bridges existing gaps,” says Nikki Bustos, a contractor. “To avoid painting the whole structure, you can use color shades similar to that of your existing wall. Our country's leading paint manufacturers already offer ready mixed waterproof paints in popular colors.”

My roof has started to leak in various areas!

Locate where the leaks are and plug them. “Some leaks can be remedied by quick-dry water stoppers,” says architect Allen Obleña. Anthony Yan, also an architect, recommends plugging the leak from the inside of your house. “But it will be more challenging to identify the leak if it comes from the edges and crawls through the ceiling, especially if you have a drop or high ceiling. If the wind and rain is not too strong, you can still apply sealant on the suspected source of leaks.”

My ceiling is damaged from years of rain leaks and looks bulok. When I change the ceiling, what material should I use?

“You first have to uninstall the ceiling materials to identify the source of leaks,” says Anthony, adding that you should identify which leaks are coming from the roof before fixing the ceiling. When you will finally change the ceiling, go for cement boards or PVC materials. “PVC is the most versatile material against constant weather beatings. It comes in an array of finishes. Cement boards also have weather-resistant qualities,” says Allen. A local brand of a cement board or fiberboard ceiling material is Hardieflex.  

Rain leaked into my house and onto my bed and sofas. Can I still salvage them?


“Beds and mattresses, once soaked, are inadvisable to be used again. These could become breeding grounds for harmful organisms,” warns Allen. A sofa, however, can still be reused and reupholstered if the frame is sturdy.

Can any part of my roof be repaired if the GI sheets have been blown away?

If your roof sustained minimal damage, “fasten the roof material securely and apply coats of anti-rust paint. Corrosion of roof or fasteners, or both, is often the cause of an impending roof disaster. Also, install protective nets on gutters to prevent blockage,” adds Allen. “If the entire roof has been blown away, the homeowner will need a roofing contractor to build a new roof,” Anthony advises.

What will I do when floodwater suddenly enters my house (aside from moving furniture around and then evacuating)?

Turn off your main electrical switch immediately. “If there’s one thing worse than a house being flooded, it is a house being flooded and catching fire [or homeowners being electrocuted—Ed.] at the same time,” says Allen.

I bought a lot in a village and only found out recently it is located in a flood prone site, but I have no option to move.

Build your home above flood level. “If you recognize that [the site is] flood prone and you do not have a choice, build homes on stilts. Identify the flood level. If you are new in the community, consult with your neighbors. They can give you insights on the flooding history of the area,” advises Christopher de la Cruz of the Philippine Green Building Council.

Whenever there’s a storm or gusty rain, my windows leak at the seams.

“As our attentions are often focused on the roof, window leaks are often the culprit. We should invest on weather strips. Homeowners can install it by themselves. Just make sure to clean the sides of the windows so that the strips will maintain good adhesion,” advises Allen.

And one last, very important tip:

Prepare a handy emergency kit, which includes basic necessities like ready-to-eat food, batteries, first aid kits, and others, as well as important documents. “We’ve seen people forced to stay on the upper floors, some even on the roof. They stay there waiting for the flood to subside. It may take hours, even days, and rescuers would come in later. It would be best to prepare for such kind of situations,” advises Allen. You can buy an emergency kit at most major home depots, or online here.


Read the original article in the RL Notebook in the September 2014 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to for more details. 

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