Tips to Keep Your Home Safe in a Storm
Few things are scarier than a big storm headed your way. Here are our top 8 home flood protection tips to help you keep your home safe in the storm.
The prevalence of weather-related disasters is on the rise. Last year, in fact, 16 different billion-dollar disasters occurred in the United States. These included severe storms and flooding.
As a homeowner, it’s up to you to take every possible precaution against harsh weather. Ensuring your home can withstand flooding and storm damage will help cut down the risk of loss and the need for costly repairs.
Protecting your home will also provide peace of mind that your family is safe during a severe storm.
To help you out, we’re going over eight tips for maintaining home flood protection. Let’s get started.
1. Ensure Your Landscaping Provides Proper Drainage
The next time it rains, take notice of where the water around your house is going. If it’s flowing toward your foundation or simply pooling up, you’ve got a problem.
Ideally, your landscape should slope away from the house. This ensures water gets taken away and emptied into the drainage system in the street.
Adding some soil around the foundation in order to create grading will help. However, you may need to have a landscaper install a drainage system. This will ensure water can’t damage your foundation or enter your home during heavy rains.
2. Keep Your Foundation in Good Shape
If you notice any cracks or large gaps in your foundation, you’ll need to have them repaired. Water can easily enter your home through these vulnerable points.
If your foundation is already damaged, over time water will cause more erosion and make the problem worse. This is a serious problem if you have a basement, as this is the first place that will flood if water enters via the foundation.
If the foundation of your home is on pier and beams, having it raised is a great way to avoid flooding. Yes, this is a very expensive improvement, but if you plan on staying in your home for many years, it may be worth it.
3. Have Your Roof Inspected
If your roof is in bad shape, flooding or severe water damage is inevitable. Have a professional come out and perform an inspection to check for punctures and deterioration.
If you live in an area prone to severe storms, a weak roof won’t stand up to high winds. It will eventually sustain further damage if not repaired.
Even if a roof leak doesn’t result in major flooding, it can quickly cause extensive water damage. This, in turn, can lead to mold growth and rotten wood.
Having a yearly inspection helps you avoid these headaches.
4. Install a Backflow Valve
In areas prone to heavy flooding, there’s always a possibility of sewage backing up into your home. This is the last thing you want. Not only will this cause water damage, but it also presents a health hazard.
Installing a backflow valve helps prevent this. These valves work by automatically closing when flooding occurs and water starts backing up. Water and waste are then directed back out of your home instead of in.
You can even opt for a backflow valve that’s manually operated, so you can decide when to close it off. These valves are relatively affordable and easy to install.
5. Use a Sump Pump for Your Basement
If you have a basement, investing in a sump pump is a smart idea. This device will pump water out of your basement when it starts to flood.
Because basements are below ground-level, they’re usually the first spot that starts to take on water. When this happens, the pump will filter water out of your home through a tube. The tube empties into an area where water isn’t an issue, or into the city sewage drain.
If you’re worried about losing power during a storm, make sure you opt for a battery-powered sump pump. If you have a large basement that takes on heavy flooding, install a high-capacity pump.
6. Trim Overhanging Trees
It’s important to keep all trees and vegetation that are close to your home trimmed. This helps reduce the chance of damage from the storm.
During storms with high winds, there’s a possibility of large limbs breaking and falling onto your home. This could result in roof damage and water entering your home.
Limbs could also break windows or fall on vehicles and your outdoor HVAC unit. They could also damage siding.
Make sure you keep an eye out for any dead limbs. These have a higher chance of falling during a heavy storm.
7. Make Sure Doors and Windows Are Sealed
If your windows and door frames aren’t sealed properly, water can easily enter your home and cause flooding. This could result in a serious problem if you’re not home to perform damage control.
To prevent this, add flood-proofing sealant to all your windows and doors. You can even add sealants to cracked walls or the foundation.
If you’re dealing with leaky windows or doors, ultimately you’ll need to have the frames replaced altogether. However, applying sealant can help in the meantime.
8. Secure Outdoor Items
If you have outdoor patio furniture, pool supplies, or a grill in your yard, you need to secure these items before a storm. A good rule of thumb is to secure anything that’s not already held in place.
There are two reasons for doing this. First, you don’t want these items getting damaged. Second, in heavy winds, these items can easily smash a window.
This presents a potentially dangerous situation for you and your family. In addition, once a window gets broken, you’re dealing with water entering your home.
When you know a bad storm is on the way, either secure loose items or put them in the garage.
Prepare Yourself with Home Flood Protection
Your home is an investment, so it makes sense you’d want to protect it from serious flood damage. The best way to prevent flooding in your home is to make sure all your bases are covered.
Use these home flood protection tips to help prevent costly repairs resulting from water damage after the next heavy storm.
But if you do have troubles, we provide a wide range of residential restoration services – from mitigation to reconstruction. Contact us today for help.