What Are the Best Ways to Prevent a House Flood?
Every year, about one in 60 insured homes sustains water or freezing damage. Your home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make. Learning how to prevent a house flood is essential if you want to protect that investment.
Here are a few home waterproofing tips for protecting your home. With these tips, you can take preventative action to avoid flood damage and mold growth.
Read on to learn how to prevent flooding today.
Before you begin waterproofing your home, determine how likely you are to experience flooding issues. Determine how well your home can withstand flooding, too.
Check with The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s FEMA Flood Map Service Center. Their flood map can help you determine your future flood risk. Enter your home’s address to determine if you’re near a flood zone.
Their reports will also help you determine if the area sustained flooding in the past.
The map will display zone markings to indicate your region’s flood risk. It will also display bridges, damages, levees, and other structures nearby. The zones include:
- Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA)
- Regulatory floodways
- Zones B and X
- Zone D
SFHAs are shaded in blue on the map. These zone names begin with either an A or V. SFHAs have a 1% chance of significant flooding each year.
Though 1% might seem low, investing in home waterproofing is still important to minimize damage and mold growth.
Regulatory floodways appear with blue and red stripes on the map. They usually include a river. Sometimes, homes are built in or near regulatory floodways, though the areas should remain clear to allow water draining.
Zones B and X have a 0.2% annual chance of flooding. They appear orange on the map. These zones are likely to sustain significant flooding once every 500 years.
If your home is in one of these zones, check your home for flooding due to leaks or surface runoff due to rain.
Homes in Zone D areas have an undetermined flood risk and appear yellow-orange on the map. Research the area’s flood history if you live in a home in these zones.
When reviewing maps for your area, consider when the map was made to confirm it’s up-to-date.
Determine Flood Level
After reviewing the map, contact a flood insurance agent or adjuster. Determine your home’s specific flood level. Otherwise, you might make assumptions about your risk.
Your home’s flood level is the height to which floodwaters might rise during a storm. Your home should have been built above this level to protect you from potential flooding.
The next time there’s significant rain, determine how floodwater might enter your home.
First, determine where water flows (away or toward your home). Check for water pooling near your doors or windows, too. Assessing your home after a storm can help you determine your flood risk.
It can also help you spot areas that can benefit from dry flood-proofing.
Prepare Your Home
After assessing your risk, you can begin using flood prevention techniques to protect your home. Consider flood-proofing immediately if your home is in a flood-prone area (or wasn’t built to handle rising water).
You can start by raising your home on piers or stilts. Raising your home raises the flood level.
Otherwise, even an inch of water can cause damage and increase the risk of mold growth.
While this option is expensive, it’s sometimes the most effective.
Consider installing foundation vents or a sump pump, too. Foundation vents will encourage water to follow through your home. This technique can keep water from pooling around your property.
Otherwise, the water might not have an outlet. Pressure can build against your walls or basement windows, too.
Sump pumps, on the other hand, can pump water out of your basement if flooding occurs.
You can also apply coatings and sealants to the foundation, walls, doorways, and windows. Sealants can prevent water from entering your home through small cracks.
Check your switches, outlets, sockets, and circuit breakers to confirm they’re a foot above flood level. Raising outlets and switches can help you avoid electrical damage during a flood.
Confirm the pipes entering your home have valves to prevent your sewage system from backing up into your home during a flood.
You can also minimize pooling and flooding by pointing downspouts away from your home. Leave space between mulch and siding to keep wet mulch from rotting. Grade your lawn away from your property or use heavy soil with clay and sand for surface runoff, too.
Consider scheduling basement waterproofing services to protect your home from moisture and water damage. Hiring a team ahead of time will give you peace of mind if a bad storm rolls in.
Have a Plan
If there’s flooding or heavy rain in your area, have a plan in place for flood prevention. Draft a plan that includes:
- Moving furniture, rugs, and electronics to a higher flood
- Shutting off electricity at the breaker panel
- Clearing out gutters and drains
- Shutting off the main water line
- Blocking gaps with sandbags
- Turning on the sump pump
Before a flood occurs, make sure to take photos of your home and belongings. These photos can help you file a claim with your insurance provider if necessary.
As part of your plan, have a home waterproofing and mold remediation company in your back pocket. If there’s an emergency, you’ll have peace of mind knowing they’re only a phone call away.
Look for a company that offers annual maintenance services. They can review your home once a year to check for mold or standing water in your home. They’ll also ensure everything is working efficiently to minimize your risk of flooding and mold growth.
Start Waterproofing: Prevent a House Flood Today
Don’t wait until there’s a bad storm to worry about flood prevention. Instead, use these tips to prevent a house flood before there’s water damage. With these tips, you can feel confident knowing your home is safe.
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