July, August, and September in Tucson are known for: hot weather and monsoons (torrential rainstorms). Flash floods can often occur along with the lightning strikes, huge winds, and heavy rains, which can create big problems on our roads and in our homes. The southeast side of town has had the most rain so far while the rest of Tucson is hoping to share in the mid-afternoon downpours. With housing inventory at all-time lows and interest rates the same even the rainy season won’t slow down the buying and refinancing frenzy. However, it’s rare in this lopsided sellers market that buyers would get some competitive advantage but monsoons do just that!
What does this mean if you are a home buyer?
Why are monsoons a good time to buy a home? As a home buyer you can use the monsoon season to better evaluate the pros and cons of the home condition. Flaws are more evident this time of year which makes it easier to gauge construction quality and grading. Look for signs like…..
- Water stains and bubbled up paint. Be sure to focus on the ceiling and upper walls where a roof leak will be most noticeable.
- Low lying areas that are prone to flooding and standing water.
- Missing or damaged shingles.
- Debris in gutters and downspouts.
- Damage near the edge of the roof.
Getting a professional home inspection during the monsoon season can reveal construction quality and how well the home and ground around it repels water.
Leakage issues during the monsoons, can also be used by buyers to make the deal work in their favor on the negotiating table. As a prospective buyer you might save more on the price which othermise may not happen in dry weather conditions.
What does this mean if you are a home seller?
A properly staged and cleaned home will a sell quicker especially during monsoon season. Here are some home selling tips for preparing your property during the rainy season.
- A big downside of the rainy season is how dark the interior of your home can become. Turn on the lights in to cheer your rooms up.
- Give buyers a place to wipe their feet.
- Make your home comfortable and inviting by adding a flower vase in the kitchen or baking vanilla in the oven.
- Clean-up debris from monsoon rains daily. If you have the gutters keep them clean too.
If your home has suffered water damage and you have decided to put it on the market, what should you do? You have two options: 1) repair the damage before you sell; or 2) leave the damage without concealing it to potential buyers (chances are good you will get a lower purchase offer). We have relationships with experienced specialists including contractors, home restoration companies, and mold remediation firms. They can advise you on which strategy is best and the most cost effective.
What does this mean if you are a homeowner with no plans to sell or buy?
Our Arizona soil is dry and does not absorb water well, creating perfect conditions for flash flooding. Every year, we are caught off guard by these floods and the results can be disastrous. You can’t totally prevent monsoon damage, but here are 7 tips that are key to protecting your house from water damage.
- Falling branches or tipping trees
Look your trees over before storms arrive to determine if they need pruning. June, July, and August are the best time to prune desert trees like Palo Verde and Mesquite.
- Be mindful of yard grading
If you have regular water drainage problems on your property, make sure you get it fixed before the next storm. Continuous standing water over the years can cause foundation issues, termites, and inside flooding.
- Lightning, electrical storms, power surges
If you know your house has just been hit directly by lightning, call the fire department. It is common for lightning to start fires within the walls. Whole house surge protectors will reduce your home’s fire hazard and with Tucson high lightning activity during the monsoons the costs may be worth the benefits.
- Roof damage and leaks
Ignoring any leak could result in more damage to your home, especially when storms are frequent during monsoon season. Be sure to have the roof inspected every spring well before the raining season begins. Therefore if it needs work the repairs can be completed quickly.
- Dust and dirt
If your ductwork has leaks, dust and dirt generated by the strong winds will get sucked in and blown thoughout your home. Make sure the ductwork is sealed.
- Yard furniture
Before the high winds ramp up, tie down items like patio tables or grills.
- Clean your gutters
They can cause water to back up, and if it pools off the roof, it goes right through the roof and through the ceiling, into the walls, and into your home.
Just in Case the Lights Go Out
If power lines come down during a storm, you may find yourself sitting in the darkness.
- Keep your refrigerator and freezer shut. The food inside will last far longer.
- Landlines conduct electricity from a lightning strike, use your cell phone instead.
- Water and metal pipes conduct electricity, so do not take a shower or bath.
- If your power goes out, turn off your appliances.
- Turn off your air conditioner so a voltage spike doesn’t damage your A/C unit.
- Keep a first-aid kit, a flashlight, and a battery-powered radio handy.
Homeowner's Insurance VS National Flood Insurance Program
If your house has flooded because of a mechanical failure or a wind storm, contact your local insurance person first then a professional restoration company. Most of them will have 24 hour emergency hotlines to call. They can assess the damage and advise you as to whether a claim is appropriate.
The typical homeowners policy does not cover groundwater and surface water flooding. This type of water damage is covered only by flood insurance. If you don’t have flood insurance, the water damage after a flood will be your responsibility to mitigate.
Facts Homeowners Need to Know About Water Damage
According to the experts, water damage remediation is vital —and the sooner the better. The longer you wait the risk of mold growth increases and there are a lot of health issues stemming from mold and contamination.
- Mold will develop within 24-48 hours of water Even worse, it will continue to grow until steps are taken to eliminate the source of moisture and you begin restoration efforts.
- When rainwater isn’t properly drained away from your house, it is a recipe for foundation failure and termite infestation. If you have regular water drainage problems, you may need to add drains to patios, upgrade your patio to permeable pavers, build rock rivers, or even regrade your lot.
- If your home is flooded by a plumbing malfunction, your homeowner’s insurance may not pay if you did not maintain your plumbing properly.
- To minimize water damage, cover your roof with plastic and mop up the inside of your house. This can be done by a water restoration company.
- If you’re really worried about leaks, you can buy electronic water sensors that will warn your smart phone when they detect water.