According to a report released in December 2018 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, floods are liable for about $40 billion in damages worldwide, yearly.
You cannot predict when an unexpected storm and floods will occur. The least you can do is to prepare your home for the unforeseen.
Taking the step to retrofit your house in anticipation of floods gives you peace of mind knowing that you are sorted regardless of what happens. The best part is that you do not have to break the bank to have a flood proof house.
Read on for some simple and affordable ways to protect your house against flooding.
Sewage Backflow Valves
If you live in an area with persistent flooding, the chances are that your city has municipal programs funding sewage backflow valve installation.
During floods, sewers and drains tend to backup. In return, this forces the water back into dishwashers, sinks, bathtubs, and washing machines.
The water may then overflow onto your house floor, making the flooding situation worse and causing floor water damage. Investing in valves and plugs will prevent mishaps.
If you must build your house near a water body or a flood-prone area, you should raise it above the flood height.
The elevation is by far the most effective way to prevent house flooding. In case the unexpected happens, your family and property will be safer from the damages than houses built on the ground level.
Nonetheless, you should seek a permit before elevating your house to ensure that it is safe for the idea. The process involves lifting the house structure such that the lowest floor is about two feet above the expected flood level.
You can do so by building on stilts or build your house on a raised level like on concrete or beach house.
Wet proofing may sound like an unsafe idea, but it has proven its effectiveness for the longest time.
Wet floodproofing is where you make an uninhabited part of your house damage resistant by letting water in. If you feel that it is already too late and wondering what to do if your house floods, the process always comes in as a savior.
You should be willing to let floodwater enter your home before exiting. With this, only the structures located below the flood level will feel the effects of the flood.
It would be best if you then implemented service equipment to reduce the potential damages. You can install flood vents and use damage-resistant materials in the affected areas.
Clear the Gutters
The primary cause of flood damages is the lack of a clear water passage. As the heavy rains beat down your house, you need functional gutters to maximize water flow into the right channels.
You should also invest in quality tanks to collect water from the gutters. This protects the doors, windows, and other house structures from water damages.
However, the gutters are prone to debris and dirt buildup, thus preventing their functionality. In case of heavy rains, the water has nowhere to pass through. This makes your house vulnerable to water damages to water overflow. Avoid such risks through regular gutter cleaning.
Dry floodproofing is almost similar to wet proofing. But in this case, you do not allow water into the structure.
Ideally, dry proofing is where you allow water up the walls of your house. However, the walls are made in such a way that water cannot penetrate the house. You can quickly achieve this by using a waterproof membrane or sealant.
Pay attention to windows and doors to ensure that water cannot get into the house through these open areas. If you have airbricks and other entry points, seal or raise them.
Dry waterproofing focuses on keeping water out of the structure without necessarily raising it. Virtually, you will be surrounded by floods, but your family and properties will be safe from the waters.
Improve Your Landscaping
You can work on your landscaping to divert water from your house. Invest in porous surface to allow the excess water to seep into the ground rather than streaming towards the house.
Dig swales or depressions somewhere around your building to channel floodwater runoff from the building. You may also convert concrete driveway to brick or use an absorbent mulch to control flood damages.
Moreover, you can place a rain barrel under a gutter downspout to prevent waterway damages during heavy rains.
Window and Door Guards
Investing in quality window and door guards is crucial for protecting against unexpected floods.
For example, summer storms might be rare in your area, but that does not mean they’ll never occur. The least expected event could happen, but you will have nothing to worry about if your doors and windows are sealed.
The guards aim to prevent water from getting into the structure through the gaps.
The guards’ cost varies depending on the quality, so there is something to suit everyone’s budget. It is, however, advisable that you pay more for a high-quality guard for guaranteed protection.
Raise Switches and Electrical Outlets
You should raise all switches, circuit breakers, and sockets to at least one foot above the ground.
Water can cause severe electrical damages or result in more dangerous threats such as fire outbreaks. Ensuring that flood water cannot reach any electrical outlets prevents severe damage in a flooded house.
What to Do If Your House Floods
If you are out of time and flooding has already begun, you must act fast to save as many properties as possible.
You can avoid this by:
- Turning off your house water line
- Clear the drains for easier water flow
- Block gaps with sandbags
- Turn off electricity
- If the rain has already stopped, open the doors and windows for water to exit
If possible, you should record the happenings and use the recording when making an insurance claim.
Create a Flood Proof House as Early as Now
You should not wait until your house floods to take preventative measures. The best time to have a flood proof house is now. This will give you peace of mind and save both your time and money.
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