3 Ways to Prepare Your House for Flood Damage
When heavy rainfall, combined with swollen rivers or bursting nearby dams, causes flooding, the water creeps into the first accessible places it can find. It rushes in through unlocked front doors, trickles down stairwells and seeps up through drains. Once the floodwaters recede again, homeowners face an enormous challenge cleaning and repairing their homes. Flood damage is one of the most common natural disasters in the United States, and it’s more likely to occur in some states than others. According to a report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration , about 20 million people live in areas that are at high risk for flooding. If you live in one of these states or another area prone to flooding, take measures now to protect your home and from losing personal belongings from this type of disaster before it strikes.
Table of Contents
Make Sure Your Home Has Proper Drainage
If water enters your home from above, it’s likely that the building’s gutter system is clogged or damaged. Before a flood occurs, clear leaves and debris from your gutters. If you find that your gutters have rusted or have holes in them, repair them or replace them. You can also install gutter guards to keep debris out of your gutters. If your home’s foundation has cracks, water can enter your house through these cracks. If you find cracks in your foundation, hire a professional to repair them. If you live near a river, stream or other water source, make sure your home has a flood wall surrounding it to divert water away from your home. A flood wall can also protect you from mudslides and other debris that can be kicked up in a flood.
Install Flood-Detecting Devices and Equipment
If you live near a river or other water source, make sure to install flood-detecting equipment. You can buy water sensors that will sound an alarm if water is detected outside or inside the home. You can also install a sump pump to prevent water from seeping into the basement. If you have an indoor water sensor installed, you’ll know if water is creeping into your home. Outdoor water sensors can help you avoid travel hazards when the roadways are underwater. Flood lights can help illuminate pathways in a dark and flooded area. They can also help prevent electric shock from electrical wires that are underwater.
Reinforce Doors and Windows
If you’re expecting flooding, it’s a good idea to strengthen your doors and windows. You can do this by installing steel plates on your doors. Make sure your windows have working locks. If floodwaters rise to a certain point, water will enter your home through your windows. You can also install storm shutters for extra protection. Storm shutters can be costly, but many insurance companies offer discounts for homeowners who install them. If you have a security system in your home, make sure to test it to make sure it’s still functioning properly. If your home floods, you may need to shut off your security system to avoid false alarms.
Get a Professional Inspection After the Flood
It’s important to get your home inspected by a professional after a flood to make sure it’s safe to inhabit again. Your insurance company may require you to have a professional inspection before they’ll cover any repairs. A professional inspector can check for damage that’s harder to see, such as mold and decaying floorboards, and give you advice for cleaning up the home. If you are unable to clean up your home on your own, or if it appears that you will be unable to do so any time soon, you can hire a professional cleaning company to do the job for you. The sooner you get the cleanup process started, the easier it will be, so don’t delay. Once the floodwaters have receded, start preparing for the next big flood by checking for any areas in your home that could cause damage when the water rises again.
When it comes to flood damage, it’s important to be proactive. If you live in an area that’s prone to flooding, make it a priority to prepare your home for a flood, even if you don’t think it’s likely to happen soon. Flooding happens quickly, and once the water is inside your home, it can be nearly impossible to get rid of it. By taking steps to prepare your home for a flood, you can reduce the damage significantly. Protecting your home from flood damage doesn’t have to be expensive. Simple steps, such as clearing debris from your gutters and repairing cracks in your foundation, can significantly reduce the risk of water damage when a flood occurs.