Tips To Protect Your Home From Flooding

flooded laundry room

Water is the leading cause of damage to homes. Now that warmer weather is upon us, there is an increased risk of your home being harmed by water through storms or flooding. The good news is that there are steps you can take to decrease the likelihood of having to go through the expense and stress of a flood in your home.

Causes of Flooding in the Home

Overflowing Sewer Lines: Sewer lines can get clogged with tree roots, hardened fats and oils, and non flushable paper products.

Broken Pipes: While freezing pipes is one of the main causes of pipes breaking, other causes can be clogged pipes and old plumbing.

Malfunctioning Appliances:  Improperly installed and connected or broken appliances such as  hot water heaters, dishwashers, and washing machines can cause major water damage to your home.

Poor Drainage: Standing pools of water in your yard or driveway are indicators of poor exterior drainage around your home. The standing water not only erodes foundations, it also attracts insects.

Clogged Gutters: Ineffective and blocked gutters can lead to rainwater overflow and potentially flooding in your basement.

Old or Damaged Roof Flashing: Old flashing and sealant around your chimney or vent pipes can cause roof leaks. Also, missing shingles have the potential to cause roof leaks.

Weather Events: Severe storms and river flooding are on the rise in the Midwest. Flooding is the most costly and expensive natural disaster, according to FEMA.

What You Can Do to Prevent Flooding

  • Buy a battery powered sump pump to remove ground water. Even if the electric goes out, the sump pump will keep your basement dry. 
  • Have sewer or septic check valves installed. This prevents sewage from backing up into your home during a flood. 
  • Adjust your landscape by grading your yard away from your house, keep tree roots away from foundation, and clearing debris from drainage ditches and storm drains.
  • Clean and maintain gutters so rainwater flows away from the house.
  • Have your roof inspected every few years. If you notice a shingle in your yard, it’s important to have it replaced as soon as possible.
  • Repair and seal cracks in your external and internal foundation as soon as you see them.

What To Do If Your Home Floods

Be Safe: Check with your local utility company that it is safe to enter the home. Also, inspect for visible structural damage that may make your home unsafe to enter. Look for buckled floors and walls.

Contact a water removal company that is knowledgeable about insurance claims before you call your insurance company. They can guide you the process and make sure that you get the right coverage.

Open all interior and exterior doors as well as windows.

Take pictures or video to document all damage. This includes photographing  the amount of standing water with measuring tape.

According to FEMA, mold can start to grow 24-48 hours after a flood. If an item has been wet for over 48 hours, there’s a good chance it is not safe to salvage because of mold. Photograph items that you throw out.

Get professional help to extract any water, remove debris, clean carpets, and make your home livable and safe. Choose a company that offers 24/7 emergency service and is willing to work with your insurance company.

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