Homeowners in flood-prone regions may have to worry about more than just the structural integrity of their homes. Flood damage can be devastating to a home’s contents, ranging from minor watermarks on walls to the total loss of furniture and appliances. To prevent flood damage to your home, it is important to understand how floods occur and how you can take steps to minimize the risk of flood damage.
How Does A Flood Occur?
Heavy rains typically cause floods over a short time. As rainwater falls from the sky, it collects in low-lying areas like drain basins and retention ponds. If there is nowhere for this rainwater to go, it will start to accumulate in these low-lying areas until the water reaches an elevation equal to or higher than that of the area surrounding it. This causes the water to flow outside its normal boundaries and flood. If you have a burst pipe or leakage in your basement or bathrooms, it can also lead to a flooded situation. This thing can also prevent pipes form getting damaged.
Evaluate The Flooding Risk
You need to figure out how likely a flood will hit your house and how severe the damage could be if it were. The first thing that you’ll need to know is whether you are living in an area prone to flood damage. The easiest way to evaluate the flooding risk in your locality is to enter your location on the FEMA Flood Map Service website. This flood map will indicate the level of risk any area has. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has divided multiple regions into different zones, including blue zones, orange zones, yellow zones, and blue with red stripes with blue zone areas with the slightest flood risk and blue with red stripes having the highest risk rate.
Get Flood Insurance
The most important thing you can do to prevent flood damage is to make certain you have flood insurance. Even if you live in an area that has never had flooding and has never been part of a flood plain, a homeowner’s insurance policy will not cover flood damage. Getting flood insurance is a no-brainer. It’s relatively cheap, and if you live in an area that even has a small risk of flooding, it could save you from a world of financial trouble.
There are two kinds of flood insurance:
- Flood insurance purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), administered by FEMA on behalf of the Federal Insurance Administration (FIA).
- Property insurance for flood damage may be available from your homeowners’ or renters’ policy. Most standard property policies do not cover water damage caused by flooding.
Install Flood Detecting Systems
The best way to protect your home from flood damage is by installing a flood detecting system, also known as a flood alarm. These devices are designed to notify you when water levels inside your home are rising and threaten the integrity of the building’s structure.
Flood alarms work when water leaks into your home through cracks or holes and comes into contact with the sensor connected to the alarm. It sounds up the siren when it gets wet. Depending on the type of flood alarm you have, these sensors can be installed outside of your home on the ground or inside it near pipes and other areas that leak easily. These systems also detect any water sources located below your home’s lowest floor level, like the basement or crawl space.
Keep Drains, Ditches, And Gutters Cleaned
Your drains, gutters, and downspouts play an important role in keeping your property safe from flooding. Keeping them regularly cleaned can save you from any unwanted hassle. Clear out any dirt, grime, leaves, or debris covering your drain holes or downspouts to ensure that the water is easily flushing out without staying. If you live in an area with many trees and plants, you can also use a leaf blower to remove the leaves to eliminate the chances of severe blockages.
Upgrade The Grading And Drainage System
If you live in an old house, you may have to upgrade your draining system to prevent flood damage. Old drainage systems with rusted pipes often become clogged, leading to water overflow. Another way to stop water from pooling around the foundation of your house is to regrade the soil of your lawn if it is tilting towards your lawn.
Invest In A Sump Pump
A sump pump is an electric device that pumps water away from the lowest point in your basement. It can be installed inside an existing pit or sit on the floor. The sump pump should have a battery backup and an alarm to warn if it stops working.
Sump pumps are used for drainage systems to pump out accumulated water and prevent flooding in basements. They are helpful, but you must also ensure that your home is properly protected against floods. You should have the sump pumps inspected twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring or after periods of heavy rain.
Consider Changing The Landscape
Before choosing what to plant, it is important to know how your landscape will drain. You can use a natural landscape design or an engineered landscape system. You can do this by designing your landscape to absorb rainfall and setting up a drainage system with gutters and downspouts that remove rainwater from your property.
Move Your Valuables To A Safe Place
Protecting your belongings from water damage should be one of your top priorities during a flood, so you should have a plan in place before disaster strikes. It may be a good idea to move your possessions up to the second floor of your home if you have enough room. Any items that won’t fit there can be stored in the garage. It’s also a good idea to make sure that anything that could get ruined by water is on an elevated surface. As an added bonus, this will make it easier for you to clean up after a flood if it occurs.
Cover Vulnerable Spots With Sandbags
Sandbags are one of the best ways to prevent flood damage to your home. A sandbag is a simple barrier that can protect against water damage, and they’re easy to make at home. The most effective way to use sandbags is to create barriers against a rising water level. By Columbus Restoration service they can also be used to block water flow in areas where water accumulates, such as ditches, low-lying areas, or basements. You should never attempt to place a bag on top of flowing water or force it into an area where it won’t fit naturally. When filling your sandbags, ensure enough fabric to tie off the top.
Vigilance is something that every homeowner should follow to keep their house and family safe from any uncalled-for disaster. If you live in a high-risk area with a history of floods, the most important thing you can do is to prepare for the worst. To put it simply, prevention is far easier and cheaper than attempting to fix flood damage after the fact. All the steps detailed above are more preventive than actually fixing the damage.