How to Prepare Your Home for the Arizona Monsoon Season

Insurance Professionals of Arizona | June 25th, 2020


Arizona residents know the importance of respecting Mother Nature during the monsoon season. Arizona’s normally dry, arid climate makes a dramatic shift, and those caught unaware can find themselves in a scary and expensive situation.

You’re not entirely at nature’s mercy, however. With some preparation you can minimize a thunderstorm’s damage, and your repair bill. Here’s how to prepare your home for the Arizona monsoon season.


What is Monsoon Season?


Arizona is a fast-growing state, population growth breaks down into 200 new people moving into Phoenix daily. If you’re new to the state,  you may be wondering “What is monsoon season?” 

Monsoon season lasts from roughly mid-June to the end of September. Wind shifts send moist, tropical air towards the desert. When the winds arrive, they cause heavy rainfall and thunderstorms. Arizona gets between 40-50% of its annual precipitation during monsoon season.

Heavy rains on dry, parched land can lead to floods, dust storms, and winds strong enough to knock down trees in your backyard.

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Why Do I Need to Prepare My House for Monsoon Season?


Preparing your house for the monsoon season protects your investment. It minimizes possible damages and repairs, and prevents your family from being inconvenienced. 

Even if you have great homeowners insurance, repairs can be a costly annoyance. You’ll have to pay your deductible out of pocket, and it could take several months to complete repairs. No one likes living in a place that’s torn up, with workmen coming and going. 

After filing a claim, expect to see your premiums rise. Once you’ve filed a claim, your risk profile changes. Insurers wonder if they’ll have to pay out on your house again. To hedge this risk, they raise your premiums.

If your home is uninhabitable, you may have to live in a hotel or rental property while it’s being fixed. Some homeowners insurance policies cover temporary displacement, called additional living expenses or loss-of-use coverage. If you’re unsure if your policy includes this coverage, check with your insurance agent.

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Preparing for Rains and Floods


Water can significantly damage your home’s foundation. Stock up on sandbags that you can place in front of your door or around the home to direct water away. Check your gutters and downspouts to make sure their placement encourages proper runoff, and clean them out before the rains hit.

The grading around your house should gradually slope downwards from the foundation to encourage water to move in the right direction. If it doesn’t, hire a landscaper to add dirt or gravel to improve the grade. Over time, a lot of rain will wash away dirt and you may need to refresh older landscaping.

Get out a ladder and examine your roof for any loose shingles or leaks, and don’t wait to have them fixed. If you see anything that causes concern, reach out to a licensed roofing professional. They can also identify areas where water could build up and breach the home. 

Most homeowners insurance policies don’t include flood damage coverage, so talk to your insurance agent about adding flood insurance.

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Protecting from Wind Damage


A strong gust could knock a diseased tree onto your house, crushing part of the roof. Before the season begins in earnest, walk around your property and assess the health of trees and bushes. 

Do you need to trim branches back from power limbs, or remove a rotted tree limb? Maybe you need to add supports or stake down a tree trunk. Call an arborist to get an expert’s advice on what could be done to better protect your main dwelling and outbuildings.

Thankfully, fallen trees on homes are usually covered by your homeowners insurance or on your cars with comprehensive coverage. Speak with an insurance agent to determine if you are covered.

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Preventing Dust from Causing Problems


Dust that gets into your house can cause a lot of problems. If it enters your smoke detectors, they can malfunction. Change your air conditioner filter before and during monsoon season, and consider turning it off during a storm. If you have air filters or purification systems inside your house, keep an eye on them, too. 

Ductwork must be properly sealed to prevent dust and dirt from blowing into your home. Covers can work their way loose after a particularly rough summer, so this is something you should do every year.

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Conclusion


Staying on top of regular home maintenance pays for itself. You’ll have fewer headaches during harsh weather, lower insurance premiums, and won’t have to try to find an available roofer when everyone on the block is calling the same company. 

If you don’t know if your homeowners insurance policy includes flood insurance or loss-of-use coverage, or have other questions about your policy, reach out to talk to an agent at Insurance Professionals of Arizona today.

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