When you live in an area prone to drastic or sudden shifts in weather you will likely have to deal with a ton of rain. Whether you experience regular light rain, or the occasional heavy downpour, rain and cameras do not mix well.
Rain can be extremely harmful to your video surveillance system or wireless outdoor security cameras since many of them are not designed to withstand heavy amounts of water.
Don’t worry, there are options available that can help you protect these valuable devices from inclement weather.
So, what is the best way to protect your surveillance camera from bad weather?
Protecting your high-dollar surveillance equipment does not have to be complicated or cost you a ton of money.
There are enclosures specifically designed to protect your cameras from rain as well as a variety of other conditions, including high winds, snow, and even hail. Enclosures are available to fit around most common security cameras.
However, if you have a unique camera, you may have to search for another option.
You obviously want to protect your investment by keeping your surveillance equipment safe from rain and other weather. Read on for several solutions to help keep these, often costly, devices safe and secure, while they help keep you or your property safe.
Know if Your Camera is Vulnerable
Before you can ever worry about protecting your camera from the rain you need to know if it’s even vulnerable to the elements. Here are a few things that may signal your camera is vulnerable.
- How Your Camera is Installed – if your camera is located in a place with no cover whatsoever then you make want to consider moving your camera, if possible, to a more protected space. Building with egresses, roof overhangs, or even under a second-story deck.
- Water Runoff – pay close attention to areas where water can run off buildings. Even if your camera appears protected from above, water runoff from guttering or even some types of siding can direct the flowing water straight to your camera leaving it open to damage.
- Not Meant for Outdoor Use – people often attempt to save money by using indoor cameras in an outdoor setting. These cameras are extremely vulnerable as they likely have zero protection from rain or any other weather conditions.
- Previously Damaged – The truth is we put our security cameras through a lot; wind; weather, and everything else under the sun. Once a camera has been damaged the entire camera is compromised and at a higher risk of failing as a result. If your camera has been damaged already it needs to be protected or replaced.
Tips for Protecting Your Outdoor Security Cameras
You’ve established that your surveillance camera is at risk from damaging rain or other weather conditions, now you need to fix it; before the next storm comes your way. There are several options that will help you to protect your security system from the elements, giving you added peace of mind, and saving you money.
Protect Your Camera with Proper Installation
Perhaps the best protection you can afford your security cameras is to ensure that they are all properly installed. This includes installing them, whenever possible in areas that offer the best protection and angle of view.
The best options are to mount cameras high, under the overhang from a roof or below design features of a building. If there is no built-in protection look for alternative ways to protect your camera, like a shield, makeshift awning, or plastic as a last resort during an immediate threat.
In rare cases where you have no option but to mount your camera on a pole, you will want to make sure that the camera and poll are secure. Specialized housings are designed for pole-mounted cameras and can provide additional protections. Poll mounted camera are at the greatest risk of damage from rain and other weather-related issues.
Use Security Mounts Designed to Withstand Weather
Many cameras designed for outdoor use come with specialized heavy-duty security mounts that can help to secure Their surveillance cameras security mounts are designed to help protect against theft damage and vandalism. Though a solid security mount will not protect against rain, it will protect your camera from the heavy winds that often accompany the rain.
Use Cameras Designed for Outdoor Use
We know that there’s a good chance that you’ve already purchased a camera and if you did not buy a camera that was designed to be used outdoors, you are risking your camera and possibly simply wasting your money. Indoor cameras contain no protection against wind, rain, or even heat. Upgrading to a camera specifically rated for outdoor use will offer the best protection and be more likely to withstand the elements.
Rain Protection, CCTV Security Camera Covers
Do you have a product specifically designed to protect outdoor Camera Sioux City security cameras another smart technology electronics from the rain they are available in a variety of sizes colors designs to fit just about any type of outdoor camera? They are also surprisingly affordable and can even be bought in large quantities for systems with several cameras that need protection.
As a last resort, if you are either too short on time or strapped for cash you could build your own custom camera enclosure or cover.
There are several design plans all over the internet for different types of covers that would work in a pinch. If you need something quick and have no time, you may consider temporarily removing the camera.
Obviously, if it is a wired or professional installation, you may not want to do so, but if you can, taking the camera down for a short time may save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.
Waterproof VS. Weatherproof
Manufacturers often use these two terms interchangeably, however, a weatherproof camera is not automatically waterproof. Look for a camera that is IP66 or IP65 rated, these can withstand very heavy downpours while keeping the camera and interior of the camera housing completely dry, if properly installed and maintained, of course.
Additional Issues You May Be Facing
Cameras have a lot more dangerous things to face than just rain. You may actually be surprised at some of the additional issues that you may face when it comes to protecting your security cameras. After all, they are a valuable investment so knowing the risks may help you prepare ahead of time, which will save you money in the long run.
Condensation or Fogging
Areas that have a lot of rainfall can be hard on any type of outdoor camera. Over time, the seals in a cameras housing can weaken allowing moisture, even in small amounts, into the housing. This moisture will usually accumulate on the camera lens causing your feed to be foggy or even show droplets of water.
If possible, you should make sure that the camera housing is properly fitted and tight. Do help draw moisture away from the lens you can place a silica gel packet inside the camera housing? You may also want to consider replacing the foam seal to increase camera housing protection.
If your building is metal, then your camera may be at an increased risk of damage from electrical charges that can even be in the air during a highly energized storm. If you must mount your camera to the metal of any kind make sure that it is properly grounded. This can help to at least minimize that damage the camera may incur.
Freezing Rain or Snow
If you live in a colder climate, or where the temperatures drop below freezing for any length of time, you will want to protect your cameras from the freezing rain. Much more dangerous than just rain, freezing rain can get into those small crevices and then when they freeze, they expand. This causes a vicious cycle that can quickly destroy an inadequate camera housing.
Benefits of Waterproof Surveillance Camera Housing
By far the best protection you can provide for your security camera is so enclose them in a waterproof housing. Waterproof camera enclosures are designed two withstand elements far beyond what a rainstorm may bring. Check out some of the other benefits to using these with your camera.
Theft Protection – Due to their sealed design and typical mounting features, waterproof camera enclosures can offer a high level of protection against theft. The enclosures are sealed tightly and made from high-density metal. Many have been tested to withstand hurricane-force winds. Add that to a sturdy security mount, a theft would have to be a magician to steal your equipment.
Sun and Heat – Some camera housings are made from special metals that reflect rather than absorb heat. This helps to protect the camera and any sensors from both direct sun exposure and the higher heat often found in an enclosed space. Even without the special reflective properties, waterproof housings are more likely to withstand sun exposure.
Cost-Effective – Taking the time to outfit your cameras with protective housing is going to pay for themselves quickly, likely by the next big storm. The cost associated with these enclosures is significantly less than you likely paid (or will pay) for the camera. If the enclosure helps your camera to survive just one storm, then it is easily a cost-effective solution, even if you go with a top of the line option in most cases.
Going Beyond the Rain
Rain is not the only risk that an outdoor surveillance camera will face. Depending on the location, criminal activity, and even activity, some cameras may need further protection. While we cannot possibly prepare for every possible risk, taking the most common into consideration is an important step toward protecting your property. Here are a few of the common issues that occur with outdoor surveillance.
Dust and Dirt
We know that most cameras are mounted high, but nothing keeps dust and dirt from reaching even the tallest height. Whether it is a result of dirty rain, or simply blown by high winds, dust and dirt can be a big mess for sophisticated electronics.
If your camera is in a location prone to these conditions you will likely want to take steps to clean it regularly, to remove any build-up. Failure to perform this simple maintenance could potentially lead to corrosion of the camera housing, which is not usually covered under a warranty.
Wind can obviously play a part in the dust situation, but the wind itself can be a force to be reckoned with. You will know if you are in an area that is prone to high winds just by looking at the natural growth of any area trees. Nature is truly astonishing, but it doesn’t do much to protect our valuable equipment.
Protection again the wind is one of the hardest things to get, in any structure that is not permanently affixed to the ground. However, high-security mounts offer a good amount of protection again high winds, and they may be your best option. Pair them with strong protective housing and you are likely ok.
The unfortunate reality is that cameras of all types, commercial, private home, even small businesses have to accept that more than likely at some point, some jokester is going to attempt to do some damage. Cameras, especially high-tech ones are still sought after items for criminals since they can easily be sold. You can protect your equipment from this in much the same way as any other threat, with strong protective casings.
However, as an added tip, we suggest that you downplay the cameras advanced technology. One common practice in urban areas where crime rates are high is for businesses to buy casings that appear old or damaged. These are hard to find sometimes, but the idea is genius. If you need to install a new camera, getting a new shiny casing is probably going to attract attention. Disguise the new camera, and you may even convince the would-be vandal it is already gone or damaged.
Best Camera Enclosures to Protect Your CCTV Surveillance Camera from the Rain
Finding quality camera housing that does what you need it to, without spending as much, if not more, than you did for the camera itself, can sometimes be a challenge. Here are three options for enclosures that will protect your outdoor camera without breaking the bank.
This weatherproof camera enclosure features a familiar security camera look and is made of heavy-duty weatherproof aluminum. The strong mounting brackets have a 22-pound weight capacity, and the bracket head can rotate a full 360 degrees with a 90-degree tilt.
The only limitation to this house Camera housing is that it is not designed to work with infrared motion detection. The infrared sensor will bounce off of the housing’s lens shield causing a distortion and poor picture quality.
A popular option is to go with a cover versus an entire enclosure. This rain shade camera cover from Hikvision is a great option; made of a composite fiber material that can withstand very high winds. The rainwater is directed away from the front edge of the shield allowing the camera’s field of view remains intact.
This shield also prevents direct sunlight from hitting the camera which can actually improve video quality, keep the lens safe, and reduce dust deposits on the camera. The only limitation to this housing camera shield is that composite material may weaken if regularly used in freezing temperatures.
Cameras that have infrared sensor technology need protection too, this dome house. Not only allows the IP to penetrate with no disturbance to the cameras video quality, but this dome works with a wide range of cameras with pan and tilt options.
Designed to withstand some of the most powerful wind and rainstorms, this housing is made of high-quality PVC. The upper housing is water-resistant, and the domed shape allows water to cascade off easily, reducing the risk of corrosion. The bottom of the housing is waterproof protecting the camera from all levels of water.
The sleek design is reminiscent of old-fashioned streetlights and can easily blend into any outdoor décor. Some may not even realize it is a camera.
Related read: How to Keep Bugs Away From Security Cameras
We’ve given you a ton of options for protecting your CCTV surveillance camera, not only from rain but nearly every force, both natural and man-made. With all of the money that you will likely invest in you CCTV surveillance cameras and it’s important to protect your investment with proper shields or enclosures. We hope this has given you some ideas for protecting your equipment or convinced you that protection is a necessity. Being cautious now can save a headache in the future. As always, we wish you the very best of luck protecting your home property and family with your security system.