Ask the Contractor: 5 ways to get your home ready for monsoons
The monsoon is traditionally defined as a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation, according to Wikipedia. But now it is used to describe seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with the asymmetric heating of land and sea.
The word “monsoon” is derived from the Arabic word “mausim,” which means season, the National Weather Service says. So, as opposed to an individual storm, the monsoon is a specific season of the year.
We have all come to know the monsoons as the rainy season here in Yavapai County. We never know exactly when, for how long, how intense and even if we will receive copious amounts of rain but, for sure, regardless of these unknown questions, we must ready our homes for monsoon rain. Mid-June normally marks the beginning of the monsoons in Arizona. The pleasant spring weather we’ve enjoyed in our area could push back the start of the 2019 Arizona monsoon season. The National Weather Service has released its 2019 monsoon outlook indicating that conditions lean toward a later-than-normal start to seasonal storms and below-normal rain from June through August.
And the National Weather Service says we should say goodbye to the lower temperatures we’ve benefited from this spring, with the prediction outlook calling for above-normal heat during the 2019 monsoons.
For the next several months, we’ll be treated to dazzling displays of lightning, powerful winds that will rip off roofs and uproot trees, and pounding rain that will flood washes and sweep away cars throughout Arizona and Yavapai County.
We know it’s coming, we are being warned via social media, newspapers, TV and radio. We can’t do anything to prevent the monsoons, but we can be prepared.
Monsoon season — love it or hate it, it’s here. Now is the time to prepare. Following are the top five tips to get your home ready for the rain, wind, dust and hail that will be headed our way soon.
CHECK YOUR ROOF
There’s nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night to the “drip… drip… drip…” of a leaky roof. Before the rain comes rolling in, inspect your roof or have a professional do it for you. Patch up any cracks or holes, and get recommendations on good roofers, just in case you need to call in the professionals.
PREPARE PLANTS & TREES
Protect your plants (and your home!) by preparing in advance. Trim any big tree branches that could snap off and damage your roof. Stake down young trees that might not make it through an intense storm. And remember, the heavy rains that often come before the strong winds can loosen the soil and make trees more prone to becoming uprooted.
EVALUATE YOUR DRAINAGE
If you’ve noticed drainage issues in your yard that cause pooling of water during a rain storm, make sure you have it taken care of before the monsoons hit. You may need to hire a landscaping company to provide a drainage solution that will keep your yard and home protected from possible flooding.
INSTALL OR CLEAN GUTTERS
Rain gutters and downspouts are the best way to direct away from your home the rain that comes from monsoon microbursts. Don’t wait until it’s too late to make sure yours are ready to do their job and divert the rain away from your home’s foundation.
When the weather forecast calls for thundershowers or thunderstorms, take it seriously. It means that lightning is possible. Lightning kills 125 people on average each year in the United States and injures over 500. This makes it one of the most dangerous weather events in terms of lives lost.
Our area is not conducive to dust storms like the Phoenix area. However, if you are caught in a dust storm while driving, pull off the roadway as far as safely possible. Turn off headlights and taillights, put the vehicle in park, and take your foot off the brake. With reduced visibility, other drivers behind you could see the brake lights and assume you are driving on the road and follow your lights.
According to the National Weather Service, nearly half of all flood fatalities are vehicle related. Never drive into a flooded roadway. It is extremely difficult to estimate the depth of running water or the strength of a current.
Never drive around barricades. They are there for a reason, usually because flooding is anticipated or has already happened. It takes only 1 to 2 feet of water to float most vehicles, including SUVs.
Some more facts:
• Average date monsoon season begins is July 7;
• Earliest monsoon season on record was June 16, 1925;
• Latest monsoon season on record was July 25, 1987;
• Average total number of monsoon days is 56;
• Greatest number of monsoon days on record was 99 in 1984;
• Greatest number of consecutive monsoon days on record was 72 in 1984;
• Least number of monsoon days on record was 27 in 1962;
• Wettest monsoon on record was 9.38 inches in 1984;
• Driest monsoon on record was 0.35 inches in 1924; and,
• Average monsoon rainfall is 2.45 inches.
Remember to tune in to YCCA’s “Hammer Time” every Saturday or Sunday at 7 a.m. on KQNA 1130AM, 99.9FM, 95.5FM or online at kqna.com. Listen to Sandy to Mike talk about the construction industry meet your local community partners and so much more. You will be entertained.