Here are 5 ways to prepare for the monsoon season
Summer’s monsoon season will begin June 15, so you don’t have a lot of time to prepare your house and yard for possible stormy weather. Although monsoons the past few years have been pretty mild, anything can happen, particularly in July and August.
In this hot and humid time of year there can be heavy rains, electrical and dust storms, lightning strikes and huge winds. Like most weather systems in Arizona, the storm conditions could be very different in one city from another. Your subdivision may be flooded in a microburst, but across town, it might be gloomy but not rainy at all.
Here are five situations you might face along with ways to prepare what might come your way during the season:
If lightning hits a transformer near your home, it could send a surge of voltage to your house. This sudden threat can burn out wiring in your heating and air conditioning system, your appliances, computers and flat screen TV. One prevention method is to install whole house surge protection. An electrician can hard-wire a suppressor directly to your electrical service panel. You can also buy plug-in protectors that range from strip devices to box-style units that can protect an entire room or separate components. These are more sophisticated than the strips you buy to plug in lots of devices. So when you buy a plug-in unit, make sure it meets Underwriters Laboratories standards and can handle heavy electric loads.
If you’re on the road as a dust storm approaches, pull slowly and carefully off the road, but keep your tail lights on so that no one runs into your car. At home, stay inside the house with all doors and windows closed, of course. If you have time before the storm hits, put lawn furniture inside the garage or house. Inside you’ll vacuum and dust afterward, of course, but don’t forget to change the filters on your heating and AC system. In fact, you might want to change the filters a couple times during the weeks after a dust storm. Screens and windows and even the outside of your home may need cleaning and hosing down.
Leaks in the roof
To prevent water damage in possible storms, have a roof inspection done now to see if you need to replace any asphalt shingles or tiles. Foam roofs should be checked for holes made by birds. Clean out gutters and valleys between different sloping sections of your roof. Check your home for leaks frequently during the storm season; spots on the ceiling could mean trouble overhead.
Damage to trees
Before the storm season starts, have dead limbs and thick growth pruned off trees around your house. Be especially careful about trimming large palms and eucalyptus trees that can be very prone to lose their limbs in high winds. You don’t want branches hitting the roof and damaging shingles or tiles. Stake up young trees to prevent damage.
Flooding outside and or in your house
If you often have standing water in your yard when it rains, it might be time to put gutters on the roof to divert water away from your home. Add French drains to driveways, sidewalks and patios. A more extensive project: Upgrade your concrete patio or driveway by putting in “permeable pavers.”
As you probably already know, the monsoon season will last until Sept. 15.