Summer weather is a challenge for homeowners for a few reasons, most of them revolving around the common thunderstorm. Those storms have two main ingredients that pose a potential threat to your home: lightning and rainwater.
Before you see that tell-tale flash in the sky this summer, here are a few ways to get your house ready for the weather.
Before it Storms
Monitor the weather. If you know a thunderstorm is likely, it’s best to cancel or postpone outdoor activities. You may think that you don’t need to worry about lightning unless it’s really close to you, but that’s not the case. Lightning can strike from upwards of 10 miles away, which is also the general distance that the sound of thunder can travel.
So the best rule of thumb for lightning safety is: if you can hear it, fear it.
Take care of your gutters. The most important job of your gutters is to divert water away from your siding and foundation. It also helps protect your lawn by diverting the water away from just one spot in the lawn. Gutters are essentially your home’s first line of defense against water damage.
Especially if your basement is finished or if you store irreplaceable belongings down there, you’ll need to make sure to clean your gutters so that they’re ready to move water safely away from your home so the chances of water damage are lower.
Check your sump pump. Of course, your home’s second line of defense against flooding is a sump pump. Some experts advise investing in a sump pump that has a battery backup, just in case you lose power and don’t have a backup generator for your house.
Here’s an easy guide to swapping your sump pump out, if you need to. Pro tip: don’t wait until you lose power during a thunderstorm to figure out if a battery backup is a good idea. Unfortunately, your childhood teddy bear and those birthday cards from Grandma aren’t waterproof.
When it Storms
Stay indoors. This is, quite simply, the best thing to do. It’s hard to justify being outside when electricity can be conducted straight to you through trees, light poles, and even your tall friend Steve who tagged along on your picnic.
If there’s lighting and you’re inside, it’s still important to keep in mind that lightning is diverted through a building through pipes and utility wires. So that means any sort of running water or appliance could be a potential electrical conductor. Avoid using running water or using plugged-in appliances until the storm passes.
Best Rule of Thumb
The best thing to do in a thunderstorm is to remember to use caution, make sure your home is ready before it starts raining so that you don’t have a house flood on your hands.
As always, call us if the worst happens. We’re more than willing to help you with flood cleanup in Sioux Falls. We’re one of the best in the area at water restoration and we have a 24/7 emergency line (1-800-456-5004) so we can be there whenever you need us, no matter how late it is.