After one of the coldest winter seasons in 20 years, the north-central Plains states have felt typical summer heat but have been wet with flooding rainfall and thunderstorms hammering parts of Nebraska, Kansas and South Dakota. In the Midwest, heavy rainfall pushed the Mississippi River to major flood levels in Minnesota.
The northeastern United States has also received flooding rainfall in the past few months. In May, rainfall contributed to a landslide in Baltimore.
"In the past couple of weeks, that warm, humid air typically in the South has been able to come northward," AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Andy Mussoline said. "The Northeast has been on the wetter side."
Homeowners should take special precautions to ensure that mold, water, insects and rodents don't damage their property in the warmer, more humid and wet days of summer.
According to Tommy MacDonald, executive producer and host of "Rough Cut: Woodworking with Tommy Mac" and contributor to RenovateYourWorld.com, the key to saving yourself the hassle of dealing with mold is to eliminate places for it to grow. Shower replacements placed over the old shower, for example, could create an unventilated space for moisture to get trapped. Mold could begin to grow in that space and start to seep into the walls.
Mold renovations. Photo by Angela Schmeidel Randall
By properly maintaining home ventilation and preventing spaces for moisture to collect, mold growth may be prevented. He noted the importance of having a ventilation system that allows air to flow outside and not just into an attic space for this to be effective.
If mold does begin to show in your home, the best chance for eliminating it is to call a professional. Bleach may be used to wash it away from walls, but if the mold is growing from inside the walls or foundations, it may require extra work to remove completely.
MacDonald suggested removing areas of stagnant water from your property to prevent mosquitoes and adding birdhouses to your yard.
"I put a couple [birdhouses] up myself this summer, and I couldn't believe the decrease in mosquitoes," he said.
Other insects, such as bees, may make your home their home if they can find an existing space for themselves. Rodents will likely do the same, finding holes they can enter and creating nesting space. If you are noticing many insects or other pests in your home, it is necessary to find their access point by searching your home for holes or cracks.
Fans dry out a flooded basement. Photo by Andrew Magill
If flooding is slight, MacDonald said that fans and dehumidifiers typically work well enough to dry out the area. For significant flooding, however, walls and insulation may need to be replaced. If the house has metal frames, they should be fine, but wooden frames will need to be dried out.
"The most important thing is to make sure your roof is properly ventilated," MacDonald said.
Good ventilation will help keep heat from causing warped or melted roof shingles. Vinyl siding is also susceptible to damage in high temperatures; if it appears to bubble, it is a sign that it was not installed properly. The heat then makes it expand and could cause it to warp.
To help keep the inside of your home cooler, MacDonald stated that having good shades on your windows can go a long way to keeping your home more comfortable without running up the electric bill.
For more information on home care and renovations, visit RenovateYourWold.com, and watch the new season of Rough Cut: Woodworking with Tommy Mac airs in October on PBS.
While some rain threatens to cause disruptions through Saturday, drier air will work into central Pennsylvania before Sunday's Little League World Series Championship Game.
This weekend will feel more like September around Boston, but the return of summer warmth is on the horizon for next week.
As temperatures rise through the weekend in the South, so will the risk for heat-related dangers.
While a tropical low is expected to brew into Tropical Storm Cristobal this weekend, the East Coast of the U.S. is being monitored for future impacts -- even if the storm remains well offshore.
United States residents may pay higher heating costs this fall as colder air is expected to grip the Rockies and Plains at times and some quick-hitting chilly shots may impact the Northeast.
A swath of soaking rain will slowly shift from the northern Plains to the Canadian Prairies this weekend, making people reach for their umbrellas and heightening concerns for flooding.
Boston, MA (1851)
Track of tornado - Waltham, Belmont, Arlington (see other 1843 stories around this time). Apparently caused by excessively humid S or SW flow at western edge of a Bermuda high.
Woodland, WI (1857)
42 miles west of Milwaukee at night - "Every building save one blown down; freight cars blown off the track."
San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico (1906)
103 degrees, hottest ever in Puerto Rico.