The effects of climate change are increasingly wreaking havoc all over the world. The climate is changing and bringing more extreme weather events, including increasing rainfall. This has led to severe flooding resulting in material and human collateral of unprecedented proportions. While having the right home insurance can help with the financial costs of flooding, dealing with the emotional damage is more difficult. However, by investing in flood protection for your property, you may give yourself some control over the risk of flooding. There are many ways to reduce your home’s risk of flooding, and not all of them are difficult or expensive. This guide briefly explains how you can protect your home from flooding.
What is flooding?
Flooding is extremely dangerous, with the ability to obliterate entire cities, shorelines, or regions, as well as cause significant damage to people and property. What is flooding? Flooding occurs when water overflows over normally dry ground. Floods can occur when strong rains fall, ocean waves come onshore, snow melts quickly, or dams break.
Evaluate the risk of flooding
The first step to flood protection is to determine how likely you are to suffer a flood in your area, and how well your house is built to withstand it. Then, with the help of your flood insurance agent or adjuster, calculate your home’s particular flood level. Examine the surface runoff to see how floodwaters might get into your home. This will help you evaluate the overall risk of flooding and pinpoint specific areas where dry-proofing solutions could be beneficial. Your standard homeowner’s insurance policy does not protect you from the risk of flooding. Instead, you will need to buy supplementary flood insurance.
How to protect your home from flooding
After you’ve determined your home’s overall danger of flooding, take any necessary steps to flood-proof it. Flood-proofing can range from expensive home renovations to free, basic maintenance.
Outside the home
Consider the following actions for the exterior of your property:
Maintain proper water runoff and drainage
Clean and maintain your gutters, downspouts, and splash pads regularly to ensure that rainwater from your roof flows freely away from your property. Also, check to see if any adjacent drainage ditches or storm drains are clear of debris and working correctly.
Improve lot grading
Determine how water flows or accumulates around your home to identify potential trouble spots. Rainwater should always drain away from the building; if necessary, improve drainage by changing your landscaping. This may entail modifying your yard to slope away from your house.
Reduce impervious surfaces around your home
During severe rains, water runs off concrete and asphalt almost instantly, fast exceeding the capacity of storm sewers. By limiting rainwater runoff and creating natural green space around your property, you can assist decrease sewage overflows. Rain gardens, vegetated swales, and pervious pavements are all options for allowing more water to be absorbed by the earth.
Install rain barrels
Rain barrels are alternative methods for dealing with rainwater. Rain barrels are typically connected to gutter downspouts and collect the runoff from roofs. This water can be used for non-potable purposes like watering the garden or washing your car.
Elevate utilities and service equipment
Raise and anchor utilities and service equipment such as air conditioning condensers, heat pumps, and water metres. This low-cost measure can help avert substantial damage and disruption in the aftermath of a flood.
Inside the home
For interior areas, consider making the following alterations:
Safeguard your prized possessions
Important documents and other valuable or sentimental objects should be moved to a safer location, well above the flood level and/or within watertight containers.
Seal your basement walls and foundation
Patch any cracks in the foundation with mortar and masonry caulk or hydraulic cement, which expands and fills gaps. To prevent seepage in your basement, use waterproofing chemicals to seal the walls. Make sure any floor drains are clear of obstructions.
Install flood vents
Flood vents are small permanent openings that allow water to flow through your home, rather than pool around it. This both provides an outlet for floodwater and relieves the significant pressure it can put on your walls, foundation and basement windows.
Install a sump pump
Sump pumps are an excellent way to keep your home from flooding. They work by pumping the floodwater out to the outside of your home. If you choose a sump pump, be sure it has a battery backup in case of a power outage.
Use flood-resistant building materials
- Start by replacing wooden floorboards and carpets with flood-resistant materials such as ceramic tile, vinyl, rubber, or other materials. Also, instead of fitted carpets, utilise moveable rugs.
- Secondly, internal walls and ceilings should be replaced with flood-resistant materials such as lime plaster, cement board, concrete, or pressure-treated, decay-resistant wood.
- Lastly, replace wooden doors and window frames with metal or other flood-resistant options.
Raise electrical system components
Elevate electric service panels (fuse and circuit breaker boxes), as well as all outlets, switches, and wiring, to at least 1 foot above the probable flood elevation. A licensed electrician should perform these adjustments.
Install a flood alert system
Flood sensors and other early warning equipment can notify you of the possibility of impending flooding, allowing you to take preventative or defensive measures before significant damage occurs.