Flood Preparation In Your Home
Water you supposed to do when waters start rising?
Floods can be overwhelming to your family and your home, whether it is due to spring thaw, hurricanes, or thunderstorms. Ease your worries by staying on top of flood preparation - here’s how:
Inside Your Property
Use Water-Resistant Building Materials
Especially for renovations below ground, consider using materials such as concrete and decay-resistant wood for your floors, walls, and ceilings. These can withstand prolonged contact with water without consequential damage.
Shut off Electricity in Areas of Flooding
When a flood warning is in effect, it is important to shut off all electrical power leading to any areas where immediate flooding is expected. Be careful! Do not attempt to do this if you must step in water as it might be energized, and you risk being shocked.
Have a Sump Pump Installed
A sump pump diverts water from your basement to the outside of your home. It is considered to be your property’s first line of defense against flooding. There are many pumps to choose from, so it’s essential that you pick the right one for you and that you test that it is working properly beforehand.
Install a Water Alarm
A water alarm is another handy device to have during flood season. It detects the presence of water and beeps when it does. You would want to mount these in your basement and garage, underneath pipes. You may also install these nearby appliances such as your washer and toilet. Being alerted with timely information can help you reduce water damage around your home.
On Your Property
Grade Your Yard
Yard grading is the action of leveling and correcting your yard’s slope such that water flows away from your house’s foundation. This allows you to have an efficient drainage system. You would need to measure your yard’s existing grade first before redistributing the soil to rebuild its slope. You may need to use heavy machinery and assistance from a professional contractor for this job.
Extend Downspouts From the Foundation
Downspouts help to drain the water caught in your rain gutter. If runoff water is not carried away far enough from your home, it will collect against the foundation wall and seep into your basement or crawl space and give way to mold and leaks. Extensions are made from either aluminum or plastic. You should aim to extend your downspout at least 6 feet from the foundation.
Unclog Drains and Eaves
While we’re talking about your roof gutter, it’s a good idea to clear it of debris so that it can function properly. There are several gutter-cleaning tools in the market that you could use with or without a ladder. Installing gutter guards could also minimize the number of times you would need to clean it.
Move Snow From the Foundation
To protect your home from a snowmelt flood, you would need to proactively clear some snow on your residence before it thaws. It is recommended that you move it at least 3 to 6 feet from your foundation. Not sure how to go about this? This guide shows you how to efficiently remove snow from your driveway and roof!
Use Rain Barrels
Capturing roof runoff in rain barrels reduces the amount of water flowing onto your property. Set up your barrels beneath existing downspouts and configure them accordingly. You may also need to redirect any overflow using splash blocks.
Pay Attention to Flood Alerts
Depending on where you are, you’re susceptible to floods at different times. Coastal areas are at great risk of flooding during hurricane season. The Midwest, on the other hand, is more at risk in the spring and during summer storms. In the Northeast and the Northwest, ice jams happen in the spring. Keep a lookout for flood alerts during these periods so you have ample time to move valuables and furniture to higher levels in your home in anticipation of a flood.
Create an Emergency Plan
This plan should include steps on what to do during a flood, how to evacuate, and where to go. It's also important to ensure that all your family members are aware of the plan.
Pack an Emergency Kit
It should contain non-perishable food, water, a first aid kit, and any medications. It's also important to include important documents such as insurance policies, identification, and a list of emergency contacts.
Always Keep a Generator Handy
Storms, floods, and power outages often go hand-in-hand. When the grid goes down, a generator becomes your best friend. It’s not enough to own a generator, you must also follow a regular maintenance schedule. If you don’t have one, this guide will get you started. If you have perfected your maintenance routine down to a tee and you've discovered that some of your generator's parts need replacing, find the ones you need according to its model here.
Obtain Flood Insurance
Unfortunately, home insurance does not typically cover flood damage. Check what your current policy entails and if necessary, purchase flood insurance to safeguard yourself against any financial devastations.
Check, Check, and Check!
Great, you're all set! If you're reading this because you're gearing up for a hurricane, this post-storm checklist has everything you need to know about what to do when it all calms down. For more home improvement help and content, be sure to follow us on TikTok and Instagram!