for Taking Care of Your Underground Concrete Storm Shelter
It is very important to keep dirt packed around your shelter and slightly domed up to the walls of the shelter. After the first few rains following installation, you will see considerable settling of the dirt around the unit. This is normal. It is necessary to rake or shovel the dirt back up against the shelter on all sides. It also helps to pack the dirt tight against the shelter with your foot. It is recommended by the manufacturer that the dirt remains over halfway up the sides and back of your shelter. This creates a dome or crown around the shelter that sheds water away from the shelter walls. FYI, it is not necessary to put any type of waterproofing agent on the outside of your shelter as they come sealed from the manufacturer.
To extend the life of the steel door hinges, it is recommended to lubricate them at least twice a year. Failure to do so may cause hinges to freeze up and/or break off of the door or door frame. Hinge replacement IS NOT covered by our Limited Warranty.
The steel door of your shelter has been painted with a metal primer. To prevent rusting, you may wish to re-prime and/or paint when needed. You also need to be sure to prevent leaves, pine needles and dirt from collecting up against your door or hinges. This keeps moisture against your door or hinges and accelerates rusting. You may also want to look into putting weather stripping around the inside of your shelter door to keep the water from leaking in during heavy wind-driven rains. Our Limited Warranty does not cover water leaking in around the door or around the door handle.
While the air vents do have screens and the door does a good job of keeping insects, moths, etc. out of your storm shelter, for some reason spiders seem to find their way into these shelters. We do recommend that you make time to clean your shelter of any cobwebs, spiders, etc. at the beginning of Spring and check it a couple of times through the Summer and Fall. Pay special attention to make sure you do not have any Brown Recluse (fiddle back) spiders or Black Widow spiders as you don't want to run the risk of sharing the shelter with these poisonous spiders during a severe storm.
While it is good to keep folding chairs, water, and other supplies in your storm shelter, please make sure to prevent anything that may attract ants or other insects. If a soft drink spills or food drops on the floor during a shelter, please make sure to clean it up thoroughly or you may find a colony of sugar ants or other ants trying to live in your storm shelter.