Here in Kansas City, we usually get a fair amount of rain in the spring, but it seems like this year we've been getting drenched every couple of days. Sure, it's good for the trees, the lawn, and the garden, but this kind of rainfall on a week-to-week basis can be hard on the home if you're not adequately prepared. As thunderstorms continue to roll in every week and flash flood warnings seem like they're constantly in effect, all that rain can flood your basement, overwhelm your gutters, and overwork your sump pump.
Not to fear, however. Your Olathe heating and cooling pros at Davenport Service Company have put together a handy checklist of things to do to keep your house in good shape while the rains are making their rounds. Some should be done well in advance of the next rainfall, while others can wait until those thunderstorm watches come rolling in. While you're at it, it's not a bad idea to take a look at your insurance policy and be sure you know what is and isn't covered in the event of a flood or other disaster.
Inspect your roof.
It doesn't take an expert to identify many roofing problems such as missing shingles or places where your roof may be sagging or, worse yet, collecting water. Those minor problems can turn into much bigger ones with the help of a heavy rain, a lot of wind, or even hail. Chimneys are a good place to put in a little extra time, and be sure to take note of cracks, broken bricks, or other damage.
Clean out gutters.
If your gutters get clogged up with leaves, twigs, or anything else that might blow in during a storm, then heavy rains can overflow them, causing potential damage to your roof. Don't just check the gutters themselves, either. Downspouts and splash blocks can also become blocked or damaged. That broken splash block isn't doing its job, either, just because the pieces are still there. Replace it to help keep water away from your house and foundation.
Check your sump pump.
If you have a basement in Kansas, then chances are you've got a sump pump, and you'll want to make sure it's working. You can test it by pouring some water into the sump tank or pit. If the pump kicks on, then it's probably working. Of course, that'll only help if the power stays on. The time you need a sump pump the most is also the time when your power is most likely to go out, so it's a good idea to get a battery backup, just to be safe. For more tips on keeping your sump pump running, check out our blog on the subject or call Davenport Service Company today!
Securely shut all doors and windows.
Having the windows open on a nice spring day is great, but when that thunderstorm warning comes in, it's time to shut up the house. When you do, check the seal and make sure that everything is closing and sealing as it should to keep rain and wind out. Don't forget the cars outside, either. Roll those windows up!
Bring the lawn furniture inside.
Lawn furniture is designed to get a little wet or dusty, but you can't expect those nice wicker chairs to weather a Kansas thunderstorm unscathed. Bring them inside if you can. If you can't bring them in, cover them with a tarp that you've got secured to something sturdy. The same goes for outdoor equipment such as grills, garbage cans, and anything else that might blow away. When in doubt, bring it inside or cover it up to help protect it from the rain and wind.
Trim the trees.
We've all seen the wind whip tree branches, and in a bad thunderstorm it can even snap them off. Keeping your trees trimmed will help make them more wind resistant, and removing damaged branches makes them less likely to come crashing down in the event of a storm. You might be able to do small jobs yourself, but you'll probably want to hire a professional tree service to deal with bigger branches or taller trees.
Expect power outages.
Depending on exactly where you live, power outages can be a fact of life in the Kansas City area, as storms bring down branches that take out power lines. A power outage in the spring isn't as dangerous as one in the winter, but it's still a good idea to be prepared. Put together a power outage survival kit so you'll have all the stuff you need in case of an outage on hand. It can help make waiting for the lights to come back on a lot more pleasant.
Protect your air conditioner.
Thunderstorms can bring with them significant lightning, which can cause power surges. Luckily, your air conditioning unit is only at risk from power surges when it's actually running, so turning it off at the thermostat in the event of a storm can help protect your Olathe heating and cooling system. Want some other tips on how to keep your air conditioner safe during a storm? We wrote a blog article on that too.
Get your HVAC system inspected.
As high- and low-pressure fronts roll through, bringing with them thunderstorms, heavy rains, and wild fluctuations in temperature and humidity, your Olathe heating and cooling system may get a workout during the spring months. It's a good idea to have a licensed heating and cooling professional come and take a look to make sure that everything is in tip-top shape. At Davenport Service Company, we also check your sump pump, too!
With plenty more rain in the forecast, and lots of it already on the ground here in Kansas City, it's a good idea to make sure that your Olathe heating and cooling system, sump pump, gutters, and all the other things you need to weather a severe storm are in good working order. Davenport Service Company can help with all of it, so just give us a call today at 913-441-2222!