According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, flooding is the most common and one of the most expensive weather disasters across the US. From 1980 to 2013, floods cost American citizens over $260bn in damage repairs, and from 2006 to 2015, federal flood insurance claims came in at a whopping $1.9bn each year. Whether or not you live in a high-risk area, you are probably wondering what you can do to better protect your home in such an event. Of course, the best way to avoid flooding is to stay above water. It’s important to be aware of the flood level at your home; the official measure of how high the floodwaters could rise, which can be found at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website. But even homes located on hills will need some flood-proofing. Here’s what you can do.
Protect Electrical Fixtures
Flooding can wreak damage to your home’s electrical system, increasing the chances of fires and other seriously hazardous events. Any sockets, switches, circuit breakers, and wiring in your home should be strategically placed at least one foot above the expected flood level in your area, to protect them and keep them dry in the event of a flood.
Modify Water Valves
If your sewage system becomes flooded, this can cause serious damage by leading to sewage backup into your home. Because of this, it’s recommended that homeowners install an interior or exterior backflow valve to prevent this situation. Gate valves are recommended by the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH); these are more complicated since they are operated by hand, but they do tend to provide the strongest seals. You should install valves on all pipes entering your property.
Measures for Frequently Flooded Areas
If you live in an area that is prone to frequent flooding and moving isn’t an option for you, there are some measures you can take which are quite drastic but will work to keep your property protected. You may want to consider raising your home on columns or piers so that the lowest floor is sitting above the flood level. You can also install flood vents that allow water to flow through the building rather than rising inside. Finally, apply dry-proofing coatings and other sealant materials to your walls to protect them from any water damage.
If you’re already in a situation where your home is about to flood or there’s a flood warning in your area, there are some last-minute things that you can do to prevent damage. Make sure that all gutters, drains, and downspouts are cleaned, and move any belongings that could sustain irreparable damage like furniture, electronics, and rugs to the upper levels. Shut off your electricity and use concrete blocks to raise any major appliances that cannot be moved. Contact Winter Garden Water Damage Restoration | Water Removal | Flood Repair | ERS to help with cleaning and repairing any water damage after the flood.
Whether or not you live in a high-risk area, it’s always important to make sure that your home is fully prepared for a potential flood.