The allure of summer is marred by its uncertain weather patterns. From sudden thunderstorms to extreme winds, these abrupt changes can pose significant challenges to homeowners.

Failure to protect your home adequately against unpredictable weather can lead to a plethora of problems. By thoroughly preparing your home for damaging summer weather you can minimize the risk to your property while enhancing the fun of the season.

Here are the best precautions to take to safeguard your home this summer.

6 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Unpredictable Summer Weather

  1. Repair Your Roof for Protection Against Extreme Winds
  2. Secure Outdoor Amenities from Strong Gusts
  3. Refresh Your Gutters to Handle Heavy Rainstorms
  4. Install a Sump Pump to Prevent Flooding
  5. Inspect Your Trees and Trim Hazardous Branches
  6. Prevent Overwatering with a Smart Irrigation System

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1. Repair Your Roof for Protection Against Extreme Winds

Strong winds during the summer are attributed to the clash of different air masses.

Home with threatening summer storm clouds above

This interaction not only fuels summer storms but also generates significant wind speeds.

Wind damaged roof of house

If you don’t have one of the top roofing materials for every storm, you need to carefully inspect your roof for damaged or loose shingles. Replace or repair these as needed to ensure a secure roofing structure that can withstand high winds.

Home with new roof

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2. Secure Outdoor Amenities from Strong Gusts

In the summer, homeowners enjoy decorating their decks and patios with lounge chairs, tables, potted plants, and other seasonal decor. However, strong winds can quickly move, knock over and damage your cherished outdoor belongings.

Home balcony deck during summer rainstorm

Begin by anchoring down items such as patio furniture, umbrellas, and lightweight decorations to prevent them from being picked up and thrown by gusty winds. Use heavy-duty straps, tie-downs, or stakes to secure these items to the ground or to sturdy fixtures like a deck railing.

Lawn chair out in the open of a large backyard during a summer rainstorm

If you lack sufficient storage space and tying down items is not feasible, take the approach to keep items grouped together, low to the ground and as flat as possible, while being protected by a permanent structure, such as an exterior wall without windows, a sturdy fence or shed.

Always wrap up and lay down your sun umbrella such that it is securely situated. Light outdoor chaise lounge chairs are also especially prone to being violently blown about during wind storms, so prioritize your actions accordingly. Stack lightweight furniture pieces and remove them from open spaces.

Closely grouped outdoor planters before a summer storm

Even heavy items such as large planters can easily be blown over if they are a situated in high positions and are top-heavy with broad canopies.

For larger outdoor structures like gazebos, pergolas, or playsets, ensure that they are properly embedded into the ground with strong stakes. Check that all bolts and fastenings are tight and secure. If possible, disassemble or collapse movable structures and store them indoors before a forecasted storm to minimize damage.


3. Refresh You Gutters to Handle Heavy Rainstorms

Every time it rains, your property is at risk of damage without clean and secure gutters. Start by removing leaves, twigs, and other debris that can restrict water flow. After removing the bulk of the material, flush the gutters and downspouts with a garden hose.

Homeowner cleaning out rain gutter after rainstorm

Installing gutter guards to effectively manage heavy rain will also make a world of difference to your gutters. Guards prevent debris buildup, so the gutters never clog or overflow during storms. With this approach, homeowners will worry less about damaged roofs or water pooling at the foundation.

Gutter Shutter gutter guard system

A gutter guard system
Image courtesy of Gutter Shutter


4. Install a Sump Pump to Prevent Flooding

According to the Consumer Affairs Journal of Consumer Research, 1 in 20 insured homes end up filing an insurance claim because of flooding. Rather than having your belongings ruined and needing to file a claim, install a sump pump to prevent flooding, instead.

Ford's Plumbing & Heating, Culver City: How a Sump Pump Works diagram

How a Sump Pump Works by Ford’s Plumbing & Heating
Image courtesy of Ford’s Plumbing & Heating, Culver City, California

A sump pump is designed to remove excess water that accumulates around the foundation of your home, particularly in basements or crawl spaces. The pump has a float switch that activates when the water reaches a certain level, triggering the pump to turn on. Then, it diverts water from the property to mitigate water damage and potential flooding during heavy rainstorms.

Position the sump pump in a pit or basin in the lowest part of the basement or crawl space. This location allows the pump to collect water efficiently and pump it out before it reaches damaging levels.


5. Inspect Your Trees and Trim Hazardous Branches

Though tending trees on your property should be a year-round responsibility — especially trees that present danger to your home — be sure to remove any hazardous dead branches that could cause damage prior to the summer storm season.

Tree with a large dead branch that needs to be removed

While most arborists recommend pruning and trimming trees during mid to late winter months when trees are dormant, generally it’s fine to remove problematic branches (e.g. dead, damaged or diseased) anytime of the year.

Backyard trees during a heavy summer rainfall

Professional tree trimmers can also help you manage the size, shape and density of tree canopies, further reducing the threat of wind damage.

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6. Prevent Overwatering with a Smart Irrigation System

An example of “adding insult to injury” while experiencing a heavy rainstorm is being unable to turn off your outdoor irrigation system before, during or after the storm hits. The triple threat of overwatering consists of: 1) wasting costly water; 2) over-saturating plants and vegetation; and 3) causing soil erosion.

Irrigation system running after a summer rainstorm

By investing in a smart irrigation system, you can have several layers of control that will enable you prevent unnecessarily running your system before, during, or soon after a torrential downpour. A key capability is having remote access via a smart app to disable or adjust your watering schedule, no matter where you are.

Large puddle during a summer rainstorm

More advanced irrigation systems can automatically control and adjust your watering schedule by using a combination of moisture sensors, weather data, and personalized settings for the types of soil, plants and vegetation on your property.

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