How to prepare your new garage doors for Arizona’s monsoon season
Arizona is famous for its dry heat, or maybe infamous is a better word. That being said, Arizona isn’t always dry, and if this is your first summer here, you have more than just the heat to prepare for. Arizona’s summer storms are AMAZING! We have 3 unexpected weather phenomena in Arizona that accompany our summer heat, which can get up to more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Our monsoons include:
- Dust Storms
- High Winds
- Heavy Rains
Whether this is your first summer here or not, the weather is about to change and this is the most destructive time of year for your property in general and your garage door specifically.
Dust Storms in Arizona Monsoons
When you think of dust storms, you probably remember scenes from movies showing the dunes in the middle east, like “the Mummy”. You’re on the right track. The dust storms are technically called haboobs, which is an Arabic word meaning “to blow’/”blistering”. These storms come out of nowhere, with very little warning. They sweep in from the desert, horizontally as far as the eye can see in both directions and stretching from the desert floor up to about a mile into the sky. These weather phenomena happen at least a few times each summer and they stop traffic, ground flights and act like sandpaper to anything unfortunate enough to be in their path, including your car, your skin and most importantly your garage door… Ok, our priorities might be a little bit out of order, but seriously, skin grows back, the finish on your garage door doesn’t.
The sand and dust can also permeate any gap in your door and start gunking up the lubrication on your tracks, springs, and garage door motor. It does a lot of damage to garage doors here in the valley.
We have some tips on things you can do to clean and wax your garage doors, so that they don’t get torn apart during the monsoons. Read More.
As for the springs, tracks, chains and motors, we offer an annual service to maintain them and prevent grinding and wearing out. Read More.
Gale Force Winds in Arizona’s Monsoons
I know that gales are generally linked to hurricanes and tornados, but believe me when I say that we get them every year. “Gale force is any wind between 39-54 mph, and with our monsoons and microbursts, the wind does a lot of damage each year in Arizona. Chances are if you feel the wind’s wrath, it will be blowing over a tree and you can consider yourself lucky if it only takes out your garage door and not your home or family members, but there are things you can do to improve your chances of safety. As I understand it, the reasons trees fall are:
- The canopy of the trees are too big and often full of dead branches that should be cleaned out.
- Many of the trees (even if they’re “native”) are transplants, meaning that their roots aren’t very deep or spread out very far.
- The native soil here in Arizona is usually a mix of desert sands and clay, called caliche. This is a TERRIBLE foundation for any trees, which is why most desert plants have deep tap roots. Without them, the soil gets very slippery when wet.
The solutions to these problems to keep your family and property safe are thinning out the canopy of your trees to decrease the weight at the top of the tree and make room for the wind to pass through instead of pushing it like a sail. Staking up your trees is also a great idea, burying a few long support poles and tieing the trunk to them can act like artificial tap roots, adding extra stability to your trees.
It is very common for the rain to saturate the ground during monsoons and for the roots to start sliding around through the clay, and as soon as a good wind blows, the whole tree topples over and is uprooted. Here is an article that I have found helpful for my home that might help you as well. Read More.
Torrential Monsoon Rains in Arizona
For short violent spaces of time, Arizona gets hit with heavy rainstorms. These rains come off and on, out of nowhere, for about 2-3 months. We don’t get a lot of rain on an annual scale, but we often get too much rain all at once and have to watch out for it. Flash floods are common in rural areas, washing out roads etc. In town, it’s more common for parks, parking lots, neighborhoods and even the freeway to flood. From your garage door’s perspective, this is the least of the monsoon dangers, only problematic if your garage door is underwater. For the most part, it will be easy to wash and wax your door again, after the rain stops, because the rain will wash away whatever protective coating you may have applied before the season started.
If you’re new to Arizona, I hope these tips and explanations help you prepare for the craziest season of the year here. If you’ve grown up here, these tips will still help and either way, we can take care of any damage or service that your garage doors need, before or after the monsoons hit.
Stay safe and enjoy the raw power of nature here in our beautiful state.