Flood Damage Preparedness & Avoidance
There are very few places in the country that are immune to the dangers of flooding which means a disaster can strike anywhere. Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States. Floods caused $2.7 billion in damages between 2001 and 2010, according to the National Flood Insurance Program.
Protect Your Home: Flood Prevention Tips
Before any period of extended rain, take these steps to avoid flooding in your home or business:
- Clean gutters and drains: Keep gutters and drains clear to carry water away from your home. Check storm drains on your street, as leaves and debris can block them, causing water to collect.
- Fix known leaks: Leaky roofs and foundation cracks allow water to get into your home, which can weaken the foundation and allow mold to take up residence. When you see wet spots on the ceiling or cracks in the foundation, fix them as soon as it’s safe to do so.
- Improve roof protection: When it’s time to replace your roof, spend the extra money to install a rubber roof underlay, a waterproof barrier that goes under the shingles and protects the roof from water damage.
- Fix foundation cracks: Fill cracks with mortar and masonry caulk or hydraulic cement, which expands and fills gaps completely and costs only a few dollars. Don’t patch solely with mortar or cement, which may crack again.
- Buy a sump pump: Sump pumps let you pump water out of your home and can be an excellent defense against flooding especially when the power is out. Battery-powered sump pumps are a relatively inexpensive solution.
- Catalog your possessions: Using a digital camera, create a home inventory for insurance. Digital files can be stored on a small USB drive and kept in your go bag, sent to a friend or relative for safekeeping, or stored on an online backup system.
- Move valuable items: If you have a second floor or an attic, moving furniture, photographs, and artwork to a higher level will protect your possessions in all but the most severe floods. Elevate furnaces and water pumps when they’re installed, if possible, to a height of 12 inches above the highest known flood level for your area, suggests FEMA.
- Prevent sewer backup. Install sewer or septic line check valves, which allow waste to flow only one way. Install at a point in the pipe that’s easy to access for repair.
Floods are a common challenge that many home or business owners will face at one time or another. However, by keeping your home in good repair, moving valuables out of water’s way, documenting your belongings, and creating good drainage around your home, you can stop or reduce potential flood damage. If you have already suffered flood damage please call Disaster One at 800-277-4787 or contact us today.