How Wind Works
Wind, that invisible force that rustles leaves, fills sails, shapes landscapes, and more, is a fascinating natural phenomenon. Have you ever wondered how wind forms and develops?
At its core, wind is the movement of air from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure. You could say that the sun is to blame for wind as air movement is primarily influenced by the sun's uneven heating of the Earth's surface. When sunlight strikes the Earth, different surfaces absorb and radiate heat at varying rates. This creates temperature differences, leading to differences in air pressure. This leads to wind.
How it works
As the sun warms the Earth's surface, the air above it also warms up. Warm air is lighter and less dense than cool air, causing it to rise, a current. This upward movement creates a region of low pressure at the ground's surface. So, in areas where the air cools, it becomes denser and sinks, creating high pressure areas.
The movement of air from high-pressure to low-pressure regions generates wind. Air moves horizontally from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure to balance out the differences in pressure. This movement is known as atmospheric circulation.
However, wind patterns are not solely dictated by temperature differences. Other factors, such as the rotation of the Earth and the Earth's topography, play roles in shaping wind patterns.
You might wonder about wind currents, such as in the United States. It’s about the rotation of the Earth. Northern Hemisphere, the deflection causes air to curve to the right, while in the Southern Hemisphere, it curves to the left. This deflection influences the direction of winds, contributing to wind patterns.
On a smaller scale, landscapes such as mountains, valleys, and bodies of water can impact wind patterns. Mountains, for example, can obstruct air flow, causing it to rise and create localized areas of low pressure. Then on the other side, air descends, creating areas of high pressure and often resulting in drier, warmer conditions.
Wind is an integral part of storms. Whether a hurricane, tornado, or strong winds from a thunderstorm, wind is impressive and has a lot of power.
Wind at times turns into your enemy. When that happens and your home is damaged, do the right thing. Call your favorite disaster restoration company. After all, it pays to call a pro!
How Sump Pumps Work
Sump pumps are crucial in safeguarding homes from water damage, especially in areas prone to flooding or excessive moisture. These devices are designed to efficiently remove water accumulating in basements or crawl spaces, preventing costly damage and potential health hazards.
At its core, a sump pump is a mechanical device that sits in a specially constructed pit, known also as a sump pit or sump basin, usually located in the lowest part of a basement or crawl space. The primary function of the sump pump is to pump out water that collects in this pit.
This is where it gets interesting, because if any of this fails you, then you could have a flooded basement and thousands of dollars in damages.
How it all works and what you should know
When water enters the sump pit, it triggers a float switch or pressure sensor, depending on the type of pump. These mechanisms activate the pump when the water reaches a certain level, signaling the need for action. Once activated, the sump pump uses an electric motor to power an impeller or propeller, which spins rapidly, creating a centrifugal force.
As the impeller spins, it creates a low-pressure area at its center, causing water to be drawn into the pump through an intake valve or suction pipe. The water is then accelerated and expelled from the pump through a discharge pipe, which directs it away from the house to a designated drainage area, such as a storm sewer or a dry well.
Some sump pumps have additional features to enhance their functionality and reliability. For instance, some models come with a backup power source, such as a battery or generator, to ensure continued operation during power outages when water damage risks are often higher. And some have a check valve system to keep water from flowing back into the pit.
Regular maintenance is essential to ensure the optimal performance of a sump pump. It is recommended to inspect the pump periodically, checking for any signs of damage or debris that may impede its operation. Testing the pump by pouring water into the sump pit can also help verify that it activates and pumps out water as intended.
If the unthinkable does happen and your home is damaged by water from a failed sump pump — or from other water intrusions — then it is time to call in your favorite restoration company. After all, it pays to call a pro!
How Lightning Works
We often think of flooding, broken pipes, and failed sump pumps as the leading cause of damage to our homes. And you would be correct in thinking that. But there are other events that can occur that can damage our home besides water intrusion.
Lightning strikes are one of those events that can happen during any thunderstorm and cause considerable damage to homes. It’s important to understand the details behind one of the most powerful natural phenomena in existence.
How does lightning even occur in the first place? It results from a natural electrical discharge that occurs during powerful storms, caused by the buildup of static electricity in the atmosphere, and then released in sudden, powerful bursts.
During a thunderstorm, air currents cause particles to collide and create a separation of electric charge. The negatively charged particles tend to accumulate at the bottom of the cloud, while the positively charged particles accumulate at the top of the cloud. This separation of charge creates an electric field, which can be thousands of volts per meter.
And when it becomes strong enough, the electrical field ionizes the air molecules, creating a path of ionized air called a “leader.” The leader travels downward from the cloud in steps, with each step creating a faint glow. When the leader nears the ground, a stream of positively charged ions is attracted to the leader, and this upward stream of ions is called a positive streamer.
When the two meet, you get lightning, which heats the air around it to thousands of degrees Celsius, causing a thunder shockwave, which is what we hear.
Besides taking cover and protecting yourself, what can you do to prepare and avoid damage to your home from lightning? Here are a few ideas.
Install a lightning protection system: A lightning protection system consists of a metal rod or conductor that is mounted on the roof and connected to a ground rod. This system helps to direct the lightning strike away from your home and safely into the ground.
Unplug appliances: During a thunderstorm, unplug any appliances that are not needed to prevent damage from power surges caused by lightning strikes.
Use surge protectors: Install surge protectors to protect sensitive electronics from power surges caused by lightning strikes.
By taking these precautions, you can help protect your home and keep your family safe during a thunderstorm. But when lightning does strike, or if you have any other damage to your home such as from a fire or flooding, call your favorite restoration company. After all, it pays to call a pro!