Floods are one of the most common natural disasters and can occur nearly anywhere in the world. According to the National Flood Insurance Program, a mere inch of water in your home can cause more than $25,000 worth of structural and property damage. That’s why it pays to make your home flood-resistant, whether you live in a floodplain or not. Here’s how.
- Seal your home’s exterior: Look for gaps and cracks in exterior walls, windows, doors, and the foundation where water can seep through. Use caulk on small seams and stationary joints, epoxy on foundation cracks, and weatherstripping on moveable joints. Contact a professional for help sealing large cracks.
- Keep the gutters and downspouts clear: Leaves, branches, and pine needles can clog your gutters, preventing proper drainage. This may result in foundation cracks, basement floods, and roof-damaging ice dams. To prevent these problems, clean the gutters twice a year and direct downspouts at least six feet away from the foundation.
- Direct runoff away from your house: Once every year or two, add a few inches of crushed stone or topsoil around your home to rebuild the slope that directs water away from the foundation when it rains. Be sure to leave a gap between the soil and your siding to prevent rot.
- Plant shrubs around your home: Roots absorb water during heavy rain, preventing excess soil saturation that could flood your basement. Planting shrubs also reduces erosion so the slope around your home remains intact.
- Install a sump pump: This machine pumps rising groundwater to an exterior drain during torrential downpours. Dig a sump pit in the lowest point of your home and install a sump pump there to help prevent basement floods. Then, maintain the pump regularly to ensure reliable operation.
- Know where your main water shutoff valve is located: Floods can also stem from indoor sources, including leaking pipes, loose plumbing connections, and backed-up drains. Locate the main water shutoff valve so you can turn off the water quickly in an emergency.
- Protect your pipes from freezing: Frozen pipes can burst and flood your home. To prevent this, apply heat tape and insulation to vulnerable pipes, and set the thermostat to 60 degrees or higher at all times, even if you leave town.
- Purchase flood insurance: If stormwater infiltrates your home despite your best efforts to make it flood-resistant, insurance can help cover the costs. Remember, most homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover flooding from rainstorms, rising rivers, tidal surges, and other external sources, so you’ll need to purchase separate flood insurance to get the coverage you need.
Even if insurance doesn’t cover the costs associated with a recent flood, DKI can help you recover. We are a network of elite disaster restoration companies with over 200 locations across the country, offering support to businesses and homeowners when they need us most. To schedule water damage restoration in your area, please contact DKI at 877-533-0210 today.