How to Protect Your Home from Flooding

Javi Calderon
How to Protect Your Home from Flooding

As we saw earlier this year in Tennessee, floods can be a catastrophic, life threatening, and wide-spread disaster that can strike unexpectedly and leave you helpless. Even just six inches of water can cause severe damage, conceal unseen dangers, sweep you off your feet and make roads unusable. Knowing what to do in case of a flood can save your possessions, your home, and maybe even your life.

Flood Watch vs. Flood Warning

The difference between a flood watch and a flood warning is crucial; knowing how to handle each is the key to navigating the situation correctly.

•    A flood watch means that flooding in your area is possible. At this point gather your necessities for a quick evacuation and continue watching or listening to the news for further instructions.

•    A flood warning, on the other hand, means that flooding is already occurring or is imminent. If the news is advising you to evacuate, get out and find high ground immediately. Try to avoid high traffic areas.

Protecting Your Home from Flood Damage

 Your home is undoubtedly the most prized possession you own; unfortunately it is also the most susceptible to damage from natural disasters. By making your home flood damage proof you can save thousands of dollars in repairs and increased insurance if the unexpected and unlikely do occur. Follow these five steps for home flood prevention to improve your home’s defenses against invasive flooding.

1.    Maintain Drainage Systems – In short, keep your gutters and downspouts clean. Buildup could cause water to back-up and leak through your roof or into your basement through corners. If your downspouts cause water to pool near your foundation, install extensions to direct water further away from your home. Install sewer check valves to prevent water pouring into sewers to back-up into your pipes and drains. If you own a pool drain 1/4th to half of the water so it can take in floodwater instead of causing more problems for your home.

2.    Land Grading – Make sure your property is sloping away from your home so rain or flood water doesn’t collect around the foundation. Most leaky basements are usually a result of improper grading. To fix insufficient slope add fill around the foundation of your home. If you are unsure if your home has proper grading have a contractor come in to evaluate the slope of your property.

3.    Elevate Electrical Equipment and Fuel Tanks – In order to avoid complications and power loss  make sure all electrical components like sockets, switches, circuit breakers and wires are at least a foot above the projected flood elevation.  Raise and anchor your water heater, fuel tanks, and washer and dryer.

4.    Waterproof Your Home – Using a waterproof coating on the exterior and/or interior wall of your basement will go far towards preventing leaks.  There are also similar products sold for roofing which will prevent and seal any punctures.

5.    Be Cautious of Gardens – Gardens use soil designed and meant to trap and retain water. If built next to the home gardens are liable to take in excess amounts of water during heavy rain or floods and cause this water to leak into your home’s foundation. Make sure not to enclose your garden, and if you can, keep the garden away from your home and make sure water has a way to flow away from the house.

Floods can be excruciatingly devastating to your home and personal belongings. By paying conscious attention to small details, regular home maintenance, and following these steps to protect your home, flood damage can be mitigated if not completely avoided. Sometimes nature will simply win, but by having a plan and being prepared you can reduce the risk of falling victim to house flooding damage.



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