Protecting Your Home From Flooding

Flooding is dangerous and can happen very quickly. Moreover, the effects on life and personal possessions can be devastating. Did you know that homeowner’s insurance does not cover flooding? Flooding is a leading cause of damage to homes and it is not covered by traditional homeowner’s insurance. Luckily, there are a number of changes you can make to your home to lower flood damage. This will help reduce the time and cost of doing home repairs after flooding happens. Here is a list of proactive ways to protect your home from flooding.

Is your home at 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. Start by taking three simple steps to help protect you, your family and your home from the devastating effects of flooding:

  1. Check if your area is at risk of flooding
  2. Sign up for free flood warnings
  3. Know what to do in a flood

Ways to protect your home from flooding

There might be very little that you can do if the whole country is flooding but these listed below are pointers on what you can do if the flood is limited to your area.

Preparing for flooding

Once you’ve assessed your home’s overall risk of flooding, take any needed steps to properly flood-proof your home. Flood-proofing can range from expensive home renovations to free, basic maintenance. The steps you should take will depend on your home’s risk and how well the home was built to withstand flooding.

Flood-proofing renovations

If your home was not built to withstand rising water, some flood-proofing work may be required in order to minimise flood damage. Here are some methods of flood control to protect your home from rising water.

Install foundation vents or a sump pump

Foundation vents, a form of “wet flood-proofing,” allow water to flow through your home, rather than pool around it. As such, they provide an outlet for floodwater. Besides this, they relieve the significant pressure it can put on your walls and foundation. Sump pumps are frequently used to pump water out of areas where flooding happens regularly. It is recommended to have a sump pump with a battery backup in case the power goes out.

Apply coatings and sealants

A form of “dry flood-proofing,” coatings and sealants are applied to your foundation, walls, windows and doorways.  This helps prevent floodwater from leaking into your house through cracks.

Raise your electrical outlets and switches

All outlets, switches, sockets and circuit breakers should be a safe distance above flood level to avoid significant electrical damage in the case of a flood.

Preventative steps when flooding starts

If a storm is imminent or flooding has started, follow these steps to minimise flooding and water damage to your property:

  • Firstly, clear out gutters and drains so that water can flow freely.
  • Secondly, use sandbags to block any gaps that will lead to flooding.
  • Also, move rugs, furniture, electronics and other valuables to a higher floor of the home, or elevate them.
  • Shut off your electricity at the breaker panel, if flood water is close to reaching your electrical system.
  • Lastly, turn on your sump pump to remove water as quickly as possible.

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