≡ Menu

The Roof is on Fire! 7 Tips for House Hunting & Maintenance in Mexico

 

It was our first big summer storm since our return to the jungle from San Miguel de Allende. The lightning came cracking down over our house like an arrow landing its bullseye, resulting in my jumping about three feet in the air and one of our rooftop AC compressors catching on fire! 

Fortunately for me, I share a home with a fireman and knew that our family (and my nerves) were in good hands. The tropical downpour helped to diffuse the situation as well.

Thanks to the ingenuity, reuse and repurpose mentality of the Mexican culture, the wires were changed out and the unit spared! Hard to believe, I know…fire and all. 

The Roof is on Fire! 7 House Maintenance Tips for Living in Mexico

Jungle Summer Rain Storms are Powerful!

Jungle storms can be unforgiving, powerful, messy and destructive. They are equally exciting, cleansing and replenishing—popping out dense, lush, green canopies and a multitude of ecosystems that thrive inside of them—reminding you of the absolute grandeur and magnificence of Mother Nature.

The rainstorms also provide an opportunity to identify where exactly more silicone is needed, such as around the collection of leaking windows at the base of a 20-foot high boveda ceiling! Tall ladder anyone? Those first few falls on our slick marble floors were not so fun (especially after back surgery!) and made us delay not in tending to this issue ASAP.

The Roof is on Fire! 7 House Maintenance Tips for Living in Mexico

Keep a supply of silicone on hand!

The jungle wasted no time in welcoming us back and reminding us of the fortitude, sense of humor and determination one needs to both survive and thrive here. Yes, there are prices to pay for living in paradise folks!

The following are 7 tips as to how you can maximize your enjoyment (and minimize your frustrations) in both coastal and central Mexico, based purely on our experiences these past 5 years of our immigrated lives!

1. High-Quality Roof Sealant

Ensuring that the roof of your home has been properly sealed and therefore protected against leaks and moisture intrusion should be a top priority. We learned the necessity of this the hard way when our San Pancho rental grew large circular mold spores from the outside in after our first rainy season there. A disgusting and unsafe “inconvenience” to say the least and one that duct tape alone would not remedy!

Use a quality product that has not been watered down. Hire a reputable company to assess the roof’s condition and if needed, to powerwash it prior to putting on a new coat of sealant.

The Roof is on Fire! 7 House Maintenance Tips for Living in Mexico

What a difference a powerwash can make! The Before and After in Progress!

There are various types of impermeabilizantes (sealants)  Spending a bit more to ensure a quality result is well worth it. We went with an eco-friendly, waterproof one believing it best to have maximum protection considering the amount of rain we receive here on the coast of Nayarit. 

2. Air Conditioners

Have all AC’s serviced. The filters should be cleaned of mold/dust/debris and the electrical panels checked for unwanted critters that can wreak havoc. Apparently wires are a delicacy to geckos—ridding your AC’s of them is far easier than having to replace the units.

3. Mosquiteros

Screens on all doors and windows are not a luxury but an absolute necessity lest you want to share your home with mosquitos, spiders, geckos, scorpions, iguanas and stray animals. Even with window and door screens, these over the bed mosquito nets come in handy and allow for sleep that is not interrupted by buzzing in your ear!

The Roof is on Fire! 7 House Maintenance Tips for Living in Mexico

Mosquito-Free Sleeping

4. Bathroom Drain Covers

Just think golf ball-sized cockroaches and sewer smells. Trust me, you’ll want to use these

5. Ventilation

Jungle, hot, humid….ventilate your home as much as possible lest you want to find fur growing on your clothes, shoes and other household items. Using these moisture absorbing bags inside closets and other closed spaces helps to absorb excess humidity and to protect your items from musty odors and mold. 

The Roof is on Fire! 7 House Maintenance Tips for Living in Mexico

Just Say No to Mold on Your Clothes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Check Outlets for Proper Wiring

Check all outlets with a polarity tester or hire a qualified electrician to do so.

The Roof is on Fire! 7 House Maintenance Tips for Living in Mexico

To prevent the photo on the left, invest in the photo on the right!

7. Carbon Monoxide Detectors

If you’ve been following us for any time (or at least for the past year), you know why we recommend these for both home and travel safety.

The Roof is on Fire! 7 House Maintenance Tips for Living in Mexico

For Home & Travel Safety

These are our Top 7 Tips to consider whether you are renting or purchasing a home in Mexico.

Do you have any that you could add? 

Feel free to share them in the comments section below. 

Saludos,

~Katie O’Grady

Reader Tips:

Arturo: For the summer months it is highly recommended to put your clothes in airtight bags or vacuum sealed bags so that mold doesn’t grow in them especially if you skip town. I highly recommend doing this process with your shoes because if you don’t, the soles will disintegrate completely from the salty air and humidity.

Margaret: Keep all your food in the refrigerator, even if you wouldn’t normally, especially fruit. Clean up your kitchen messes as soon as possible to deter unwanted scavengers and never ever ever let your kids eat in the bed unless you want… ANTS ANTS EVERYWHERE! (And they bite). Even with screens and drain covers, if you leave food out they will find you… 

For More Reader Tips, please see in comments section below.

If you would like to connect with Los O’Gradys in Mexico:

Subscribe:

Join us on Facebook:

Follow us on Instagram

*This article contains affiliate links for products we use. The price is the same whether you use our affiliate link or not. If we haven’t spent our own money on it and loved it, you won’t see an affiliate link for it here. 

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Arturo October 2, 2016, 10:44 pm

    For the summer months it is highly recommended to put your clothes in airtight bags or vacuum sealed bags so that mold doesn’t grow in them specially if you skip town. I highly recommend to do this process with your shoes because if you don’t, the soles will disintegrate completely from the salty air and humidity.

    • Katie O'Grady October 3, 2016, 2:18 pm

      Absolutely Arturo, couldn’t agree more!
      Thank you for participating in this comment thread. Going to add it to the article itself and see how many total we can all come up with!
      Saludos,
      Katie 🙂

  • Margaret October 4, 2016, 9:28 am

    Keep all your food in the refrigerator, even if you wouldn’t normally, especially fruit. Clean up your kitchen messes as soon as possible to deter unwanted scavengers and never ever ever let your kids eat in the bed unless you want… ANTS ANTS EVERYWHERE! (And they bite). Even with screens and drain covers, if you leave food out they will find you… 😛

    • Katie O'Grady October 4, 2016, 9:54 am

      You are right on Margaret!
      Just say no to ants in the bed, yuck!
      I tell my kiddos this all the time—no food in the bedrooms, lest they want to be sharing them with multi-legged critters!
      Thanks for adding to the list of helpful tips!
      Cheers,
      Katie 🙂

  • Trevor Gregg October 5, 2017, 4:47 pm

    We brought a SkeeterVac down with us. It uses four methods to attract mosquitoes into the trap.
    It is also very effective for those nasty “noseeums”. The reason we do this instead of fogging with chemicals is twofold. The fogging chemicals are toxic and not even legal north of Mexico. Plus just as important we aren’t killing bees. If we have no bees…..we have no food.

    • Katie O'Grady October 5, 2017, 7:41 pm

      Hi Trevor & Carrie!
      Thank you so much for sharing this little tidbit! A very important one indeed, and I absolutely am on the same page with you about using non-toxic alternatives that do not disrupt our precious ecosystem.
      Time to look into a SkeeterVac!
      Saludos y un fuerte abrazo,
      Katie & Family

  • John Scherber March 11, 2018, 2:42 pm

    Drain all fountains & eliminate standing water during the rainy season to discourage mosquitos. San Miguel is serious about discouraging the spread of Dengue & regularly sends inspectors to check your fountains.

    • Katie O'Grady March 12, 2018, 9:41 am

      Thank you, John, for sharing this very important detail. I do remember the inspectors coming by our home several times throughout the year in Atascadero to check for standing water. And lots of spraying too at night.
      Saludos,
      Katie

Leave a Comment