From lightning to wind and tornadoes to hurricanes, summertime brings the potential for various severe weather conditions across the U.S. each year.
Meteorologists anticipate another summer with storms likely. Accuweather’s 2023 summer weather outlook predicts July as the month for the most weather concerns, featuring high-impact events such as thunderstorms, tornadoes, wildfires, significant drought and flooding.
What should you know about protecting and repairing your home from varying severe weather? Our guide below will help you navigate the (often literal) waters of severe weather season.
LIGHTNING & WILDFIRES
Most wildfires occur between June and August. Predictions are that 60,000 to 75,000 wildfires will burn 6.5 million to 8.25 million acres of land in 2023.
Along with drought conditions, lightning strikes can ignite wildfires. Lightning is a commonly known aspect of thunderstorms, but one thing that may surprise you is the impact of the annual North American monsoon season on lightning. A monsoon is a large-scale change in the wind which promotes rain and thunderstorms over a region, spanning weeks or months.
Accuweather experts say this monsoon season is concerning for one reason in particular: The additional storms from monsoons will produce more and more lightning strikes, which could produce fires that then burn for months.
Wildfire Damage Repair
Whether you experience smoke or odor damage from a lightning fire or a wildfire, you don’t have to be afraid that all of your photos, keepsakes, antiques, clothes, or even electronics will need to be thrown away. Our skilled fire restoration experts can save much more than you might expect.
And there are things you can do soon after a fire to reduce the spread of damage. These include:
Avoid touching any damaged areas with your hands, as the oils from your skin can permeate walls, woodwork, and upholstery, resulting in further damage.
Air out your house to reduce smoke odor if the temperature allows.
Change the air filter on your furnace if you use forced hot air.
Do not try to wash the walls – this will compound the soot residue.
TROPICAL STORMS AND HURRICANES
Another severe weather concern, especially for folks in Florida and North Carolina, is hurricanes. The Atlantic hurricane season kicks off June 1, and we have already seen the first named tropical system develop near the United States. Moving forward, the arrival of El Niño is expected to be a significant factor in the number of storms that form this year.
Hurricane Damage Repair
Once a tropical system has passed, the real work begins. At ServiceMaster DSI, we suggest the following steps for staying safe when cleaning up after a hurricane:
Clean and disinfect everything that was wet. Mud from floodwater can contain sewage, bacteria and chemicals.
Be careful during clean-up. Wear protective clothing and work with someone else.
Document any property damage with photographs.
Don’t use electrical equipment if it is wet or standing in water.
Severe thunderstorm activity has been rampant throughout much of the United States this year, producing a record number of tornadoes through the first three months of 2023. Summer outlooks predict that thunderstorms will frequently erupt across a large part of the country this summer, with more severe weather outbreaks.
Cities in the Midwest, such as Kansas City, Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul, may have more severe thunderstorms during the first half of the summer compared to the historical average.
The summer severe weather forecast for the U.S. (AccuWeather)
Flood Damage Repair
Homeowners who face flooding in their area may need to contend with standing water in rooms or basements as sump pumps fail and drainage systems back up. Conversely, excessive rainfall may also lead to small leaks that trickle undetected into your home but later lead to mold and mildew growth.
You can help prevent undetected water damage or even reduce the effects of a larger flood by taking a few critical steps:
Report the water damage to insurance.
Document all damage, taking photos of damaged carpet, furniture, belongings and contents. This will help you document the full scope of damage rather than relying solely on your memory during an otherwise stressful time.
Prioritize your items by first moving things that would be hardest to replace. These may include family heirlooms, photos, souvenirs, and essential documents such as titles, deeds, passports and financial records.
Call a professional water damage restoration company with good recommendations. Watch out for scammers during this time. Use a company that is IICRC-certified, licensed and bonded.
STORM DAMAGE SOLUTIONS
While lightning, wildfire, tropical storms, thunderstorms and floods are just a few of the severe weather conditions we may encounter in the U.S., understanding what’s expected for the summer of 2023 and how to move forward should these events occur will leave you better prepared for protecting your property in the season ahead.
ServiceMaster DSI has restoration solutions to fit every need, whether you face large- or small-scale weather damage. To learn more about how we can take your home from crisis to resolution or to request immediate disaster response, call us 24/7 at 844-413-3130.