What if your whole life washed away in a single day? It may sound like a horrific nightmare, but this is a grim reality for many homeowners whose house has flooded. Fortunately, there are some easy tips to help prevent your home from flooding, and can save you thousands of dollars and countless hours of stress. Wondering how to prevent flood damage? Keep reading to learn the answer!
Crack Down on Cracks
If you really want house flood protection, you need to start with the basics, and that means protecting your foundation. Over time, your foundation may develop many small cracks. These cracks let water seep in and may widen over time, opening you up to the threat of flooding. Fortunately, this is a problem you can take care of yourself. All you need is some masonry caulk and/or mortar. Systematically go through your home and fill in any gaps and cracks you see. Afterward, continue monitoring your foundation.If it continues to crack over time, this problem may need professional attention.
Location, Location, Location
Most of our guide focuses on protecting your current home from flooding. But one of the best ways to protect houses from flooding is to pay careful attention when you pick the location of your next home! FEMA offers a flood map of different areas that splits locations into four unique zones. This ranges from mostly safe orange zones to more dangerous blue, yellow and orange zones. You don’t always have a lot of choices when it comes to your home’s location. If you buy or rent a home in the orange zone, you can live in an area that may only be threatened by flooding once every 500 years. These maps can help determine if you really need flood insurance.
Homeowners don’t always associate landscaping and flood protection. However, regular landscaping is one of the best things you can do to keep your home safe. For example, it’s important to clean your splash pads, gutters and downspouts. If they get backed up, then rain will build up instead of flowing away from your home. It’s also important to keep your ditches and drains clean so they don’t overflow. Consider collecting rainwater runoff in a rain barrel. This keeps water from pooling up and also gives you an easy way to water your plants.
Earlier, we talked about the importance of maintaining your foundation. It’s also important to do this for the rest of your home. With some basic sealant, you can seal up areas such as doorways, windows, and walls. You can even seal up the foundation and offer it an extra coat of protection. The purpose of the sealant is, of course, to keep rain from getting into your home. Think of it as a special shield against the elements that helps keep your property and your family safe.
Raise Your Home
This next suggestion is a bit extreme. However, it also helps you to maximize your home flood protection. With enough time (and money), you can raise your existing home up on stilts or piers. Alternately, if you are building a new home, you can make this part of your plan from the beginning. Why take this drastic measure? Simple: raising your home effectively raises the flood level of the house. A raised home has extra protection against things like pooling rain water. In the event of really catastrophic flooding, you’ll be glad to have the “high ground” that helps keep everything (and everyone) protected.
One flooding threat that most of us don’t think about is the sewer. If the sewage should back up, your home may be flooded with very smelly water! To boost your sewer protection, be sure to install drain plugs into all of your basement floor drains. Have a plumber install backflow valves on your various pipes so that water from both waste and flooding cannot enter your home through your sinks and toilets.
Previously, we talked about the importance of landscaping to preventing house flooding, but would you believe this also extends to how you mow the lawn? Believe it or not, your lawn “points” in a particular direction. If it points towards your home, then the lawn will help rainwater to collect around your house and, eventually, seep inside. You can change the grade (also known as the level) of your lawn so that it points away from your house. At this point, the grass becomes an extension of your gutters, and helps to direct the rain away from your home.
Most of our guide has focused on things that you can do on your own. However, it’s important to know when to call for professional help. Sure, you can probably handle the sealing, caulking, mowing and other basic maintenance. Putting your home on stilts, installing backflow valves, and other flood safety measures calls for professional help. Remember, this is no time to be cheap or prideful. A house is the most expensive thing many of us will ever own. And it’s worth paying for professional help in order to protect that investment.
Prepare for the Worst
There is an old Woody Allen quote that might as well be about house flood protection. He said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” The message is a simple one: none of us know exactly what the future holds. FEMA says your home only has a 1% chance of flooding? It’s still more likely than you think! So, in addition to physically protecting your home, don’t forget to prepare for the worst. Prepare a flood emergency bag, keep expensive things high off the ground and buy yourself a sump pump. You should also take out flood insurance for maximum safety! If the worst happens, you can always hire home reconstruction experts.
How to Prevent Flooding: The Bottom Line
Now you know more about how to prevent flooding, but do you know who can help after a flood has already happened? We specialize in reconstructing homes and businesses after disaster strikes. To see how we can bring your home back to life, contact us today!