Natural disasters like floods are rare, and they don’t only occur out in the country side. Urban areas can have flooding too. Runoff from buildings, parking lots, or streets can overpower the city sewers. It can back up sewage into your basement. Fortunately, you can take steps to weatherize your home against floods.
Each area has a flood level, which you can check. FEMA’s website has a Flood Map Service, where you can type in your address, and it tells you whether you’re located in a flood zone. A little bit of research can prevent a lot of trouble later on.
- It may seem like the most obvious thing to do, but a lot of people don’t do this. Raise up your electrical and climate systems, to at least a foot above any expected flooding. Do the same with outdoor equipment. If you have air conditioning, or generators located outside, they should be anchored and raises as well. Leaving a generator on the ground during a flood means it will take in water and you will probably be left without electricity.
- Sewage washing into the basement is a real possibility in a flood. To prevent that from happening, you can have a sewage water backstop installed by a licensed plumber. If you are building a home, installing one is much cheaper than to do so in an existing structure, about $1,000 or more. However, don’t let the price deter you. Not having one will cost you much more in damages.
- Clean out your eavestroughs and downspouts in dry weather, at least twice a year. If not, you might find that during a flood, or heavy rain, water will collect in your roof, downspouts, and eavestroughs can find its way into your home, due to clogging. You can also add extensions to your downspouts to carry water far enough away from your foundation.
- Look for holes and cracks. These could be in your foundation, and can be completely filled in with vinyl concrete patching. If there are holes and cracks in the eavestroughs, downspouts, or any extensions, these can be sealed with silicon caulk. Even a trickle can cause mold in your basement, over time.
- A sump pump is a convenient, and effective flood control method. How a sump pump works, is by digging a shallow pit in the basement, and by placing a small pump inside. As water starts to collect in the pit during storms, it is pumped out through tubing, outside the home. All sump pumps are not alike, and they have different capacities. Make sure you’re using the correct one for your home, and that it’s hooked up with plenty of power.
- Flood insurance is a must. Most people seem to think that their home insurance covers floods, but that is not a fact. After natural disasters, plenty of people affected are found not to have flood insurance, because they thought they already had it. Do the search to find out if you’re in a flood risk area, and if you are, get yourself some flood insurance.
Ultimately, if you’re tired of the endless flooding, and constant damage to your home, consider relocating to a low flood risk area. In the long run, it might turn out to be the best option for you, and save you money, and keep your peace of mind, in the future.