The Phoenix area, including Scottsdale, is appropriately nicknamed the Valley of the Sun because we enjoy more than 300 days of sunshine per year. But from June 15 through September 30, we enter what is known as the “monsoon season,” and our forecasts include some spectacular thunderstorms.
These incredible rain storms bring beautiful sunsets and lightning shows, and often come with a cool breeze. However, sometimes they bring a lot more water and wind than expected.
Luckily, it’s nothing you can’t easily handle with a few quick pre- and post-storm clean-up tips:
Put outdoor toys and cushions away: It doesn’t take much wind to blow pool toys into the neighbor’s yard. Walk the exterior of your home, and stow anything that could get caught in the wind, including chair cushions and pool noodles. Make sure all other outdoor items—children’s play sets, trampolines, and window screens—are secure. When you see the wind picking up or smell that familiar wet desert soil, pull outdoor furniture in close to the house, roll up patio blinds, and bring in the trash can.
Trim your trees: Even small branches rubbing against your roof can remove some of the coating that protects the tiles or shingles. Prevent damage to your roof and to the tree itself by pruning it, a proactive project that will also reduce the leaves and other debris in your yard after a storm. You’ll also want to secure any young trees, so they don’t bend or break.
Check your roof: Broken tiles can allow rain water to trickle into your attic and home any time of year, no matter where you live. Inspect your roof and replace broken tiles. If you haven’t re-caulked where your roof was penetrated to install equipment (kitchen and bath fans, fireplace chimney, or air conditioner) in the last five years, you’ll want to do this soon. Dry air can sometimes affect caulking, leaving cracks that can create roof leaks.
Let it flow: Our hard soil doesn’t soak up water quickly. Depending on how much rain is coming down, water may begin flowing along natural washes or man-made channels. If these are blocked, the water can overflow and pool.
Before the rain starts, clear these washes, channels, and any landscape features designed to control water on your property of all debris. You’ll also want to check your gutters and scuppers so that water can flow freely off your roof and away from the house, another good tip for any time of year.
Seal doors and windows: You are probably well aware of how important it is for energy efficiency to have good seals around all windows and doors. During monsoon season, solid seals have the added benefit of keeping unwanted water out, especially if it the rain combines with strong winds.
Test your flashlight batteries: Lightning can sometimes trigger power outages. Be prepared by strategically placing flashlights throughout your house (in the kitchen, next to the bed, and in other places the family congregates). Check them once a month to make sure that the batteries work.
These tips can help keep your home in top shape during our sometimes intense desert storms. But luckily, even our storms are more mild than many other places, and they always make for magnificent sunsets and cool summer evenings. Monsoon season is a celebrated time of year in Scottsdale, and one to enjoy!
Let us know if we can answer any questions for you about this exciting time of year in fantastic Scottsdale.