Summer in Tennessee is beautiful. The days are long and full of sunshine. However, residents have to be careful. The area is known for having a lot of humidity. With a lot of humidity, the heat index can feel even hotter than expected. People take shelter inside their homes on these days to find reprieve. Even our homes can feel the stress and strain from too much heat. Homeowners should take extra precautions during the summer to maintain the integrity of their house.
Issues Your Home Faces During the Hot Tennessee Summers
You can have foundation issues.
The foundation of your home works in tandem with the soil. Soil is rich in moisture and the cement used to build the foundation relies on the compact structure of the earth as a support system. During the summer months, a lot of moisture is lost. The intense UV rays penetrate deeply. The lack of moisture causes the soil to dry up and retract. The once supportive ground is now separated from the foundation. This separation has the potential to do some damage.
A couple of things can help replenish lost moisture. First, implement a sprinkler system. A sprinkler maintains healthy moisture levels around the house. Second, check tree roots near the home. Large trees draw water out of the dirt. During a draught or extended bouts of heat, the ground loses more water. If you can’t remove the tree, try implementing the sprinkler system here as well.
Plumbing could leak or burst.
Without water in the ground because of high temperatures, pipes have more room to shift. Older pipes could break or become damaged if they are weak or loose. It would be a safe bet that the pipes that might burst are the ones running from the street to the home rather than inside your house. Another way your pipes are stressed is the increased demand for water usage. Everything from washing the car to filling a pool puts a lot of stress on the pipes.
Keeping your plumbing healthy should begin with an inspection from a plumber. The cold winter months can warp pipes. Tennessee is notoriously for weather fluctuations. Get pipes inspected before running a lot of water. While you have your contractor there, check for clogging. A backup adds to the pressure. Any blockage can burst a pipe when the sun is draining the ground of moisture.
The roofing system could suffer from heat damage.
Your roof can suffer from heat damage in two different ways. Let’s start from the inside out. Attics are part of the roofing system but have poor airflow. The reduced airflow means the attic or crawl spaces near the roof can become hotter than other areas of the house. Humidity builds under the roof which can cause shingles to deteriorate rapidly. Shingles are exposed to the sun’s rays 24/7. The extreme summer heat makes the roof expand and contract causing the shingles to warp. Warp roofing materials don’t withstand water when there is rain meaning you have an increased chance of leakage.
Keep your attic in great shape by having the ducts and ventilation maintained. With these two aspects in good working order, you can mitigate some of the issues. Install vapor barriers that coat and seal the roof to protect against UV damage. We would encourage you to seek professional help from a roofing contractor. The temps are high, and you want to make every effort to stay safe.
Hardwood floors can warp.
It’s not just the roofing system that could warp under the heat. Hardwood floors inside the home can do the same throughout the summer. Real hardwood is more susceptible than manufactured products. Wood grain retains moisture and Tennessee summers are full of it. As the panels hold water, the floorboards begin to move and buckle creating uneven surfaces. Buckling means the planks pull away from the subflooring altogether. But, this moisture can dry up too. Eventually, the wood returns to its original shape. Robbing the floor quickly of this water retention could cause the floor to crack.
The best way to maintain your real hardwood floors is a home dehumidifier. You can have them installed throughout the entire house or in rooms with wood flooring. Ideal humidity inside the house is between 35%-55%. Run the dehumidifiers during these sweltering days maintains the integrity of your floor. You should always be careful of water on real wood, but in the summer minimal amounts are needed to keep it clean. High humidity slows evaporation, and any remaining water is left standing on your floorboards.
Home Insurance Protection Against Summer Damage
The best thing you can do for your home is to assess your home insurance policy. Home insurance is protection against unforeseen issues and supports you financially as you get them fixed. Each plan is different, but you want to ensure you have the right level of coverage for unexpected matters. Call your local Middle Tennessee home insurance agent to discuss concerns and confirm you have protection from damages that can be caused by intense heat.