The beautiful, sunny skies we have been experiencing have spoiled us. Have we forgotten the flooding early this year already? The wettest May in Chicago on record! But alas, we are easily distracted and there is a TON going on this year. But it still begs the question, as we look out our windows to our browning lawns, when are the fall rains coming?
We all know that weather cycles. The seasons go from Spring to Summer to Fall to Winter and all around, every year. But do we all know why? There are two driving forces in weather and change.
- The Sun
- As the Sun hits the earth at more direct angles in the Summer, we experience warmer weather. As it hits at more indirect angles in the Winter, we experience cooler weather. The heat is our first driving force.
- The rotation of the Earth.
- As the Earth moves and the sun heats up certain areas a time, we get “pockets” of air. LARGE pockets of air. Similar to a Lava Lamp, these “pockets” rise and fall around the Earth’s surface. Hot “pockets” rise as cool “pockets” come in to take their place. This pattern happens and creates the storms we are all so familiar with.
Bring The Rain
With a basic understanding of how weather works (changes in heat and movement of air), we can understand that the most turbulent weather comes with the largest changes in temperature and movement of the air. The first one is obvious, Spring. April showers bring May flowers. Though this year it was May, the concept is still on. The changing of the cool weather to the warmer weather in the summer causes all sorts of clashes between hot and cold air moving around, causing great thunderstorms.
The other time we tend to get heavy storms is in the Fall. And we are right at the crest of it. Generally during summer, we have hot weather and a period of time without a lot of rain. The air tends to stabilize a bit more and we get fewer of those turbulent storms. But once we crest Summer Solace and the sun starts catching back up with us while the days shorten……..then it hits. The cooling weather can cause even stronger storms come Fall, especially with Hurricane Season coming into full swing.
How Can We Prevent Our Basement From Flooding?
The nights are coming earlier, the days are growing shorter, and the days are starting to cool down. Fall is coming, and a higher risk for your basement to flood. In order to be ready, the best things we can do are preventative:
- Check for foundation cracks in the basement wall that could allow water to enter your basement.
- Clean your gutters and make sure they discharge a minimum of 15 feet from the home. This is important so you do not recirculate the over 600 gallons of water produced in 1,000 SF of roof space for every inch of rain that falls.
- Check your sump pump to make sure it’s working properly.
- Make sure you also have a battery backup sump pump. This is a no-brainer. Same as a seat belt and a spare tire, except it protects the basement and everything in it from flooding.
- Install a backwater valve.
- Install a drain tile system.
- Make sure the yard around your home slopes away from the foundation.
- Install window well covers.
Nothing protects your basement from flooding like preventative maintenance. Fight the problem before it becomes a bigger issue. Call a local expert if you have an issue and are in need.