We are still in the middle of monsoon 2023 and over the past few weeks, people in one Mesa neighborhood have been cleaning up after a powerful round of storms and downburst winds caused quite a bit of damage.

With several weeks left of this monsoon season, what can you do to spare your home and property from Mother Nature’s path? ABC15 recently spoke to an expert about the common mistakes many homeowners are making.

“This one is Valentina, but we call her, ‘Tina’ for short,” explains Mesa homeowner Luis Ibarra, who proudly shows off his collection of chickens in his backyard near McKellips Road and Mesa Drive.

We met him back on July 27, just hours after powerful monsoon storms caused damage to his property.

Part of that included damage to his chicken coop; in fact, it flooded during the heavy rains and Ibarra knew he had to act quickly.

“One by one, I shoved them in there as fast as I could. It was like something out of a movie. That rain was coming down and coming down hard.”

And it wasn’t just the rain.

“It was scary,” says Ibarra. “It was something out of a movie like ‘pow-pow’ wind blowing, shed completely flooded. My plan was to get them into the garage. As soon as I got everybody into the dog kennel, the wind was so strong it was pushing my big self around.”

The wind damaged part of Ibarra’s roof and several other roofs in his neighborhood. It also knocked down a large portion of a cinderblock wall he had in his backyard that borders a common area.

“It’s been a madhouse pretty much since the sun came up,” explains Joel Reed, who works for The Roofing Company, Inc. We ran into Reed that same day while he was answering a number of service calls.

“We had a couple people literally have their roofs blow off, so we are putting up temp structures so can get them taken care of while they get their roof fixed.”

So what can you do to protect yourself this season? Although Reed says one simple step could save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

“My advice is just to have someone check on your roof, get a wellness check, someone who gets up there and inspects it; preventative stuff can go a long way…If your roof is not good, it’s hard to sleep good at night.”

Another area you could lose sleep having someone inexperienced make the repairs.

“That’s probably the biggest mistake – trying to save money,” says Reed. “Have a certified roofer do it and get a 10-year warranty or better.”

Thankfully, Ibarra felt prepared. His home was insured and he’s now working through his insurance company to help make repairs.

What else can homeowners do? The Better Business Bureau recommends a number of tips, including making sure you have cleared out any dead branches or branches that may be hanging on or near your roof.

Second, make sure you’re getting your roof inspected frequently Reed recommends an annual inspection.

Finally, the BBB says to watch out for scams; they can be common in times when we have more severe weather.

For more tips, head to the BBB website.