Flood Safety Tips to Help Waterproof Your Home
Not many homeowners realize that just a few inches of floodwater can result in tens of thousands of dollars in damages. In a worst case scenario, damaged foundations, walls, floors, and household appliances will have to be repaired or replaced. You’ll also have to remove the soaked insulation and wiring from the walls. And with all the repair work that needs to be done, the cost of materials and labor can easily build up.
Fortunately, avoiding such a situation isn’t all that difficult. There are many ways to help proof your home against such disasters. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) advises that the best thing to do to reduce the risk of damage is to follow the concepts of Elevate, Waterproof, and Clear Debris.
Electrical outlets, panels, and wirings should be elevated above the expected flood levels for your area. Water heaters, furnaces, and other anchored indoor equipment should also be raised. If possible, move valuables to a higher elevation like a second floor or an attic.
Outdoor equipment like air-conditioning units, generators, and fuel tanks should also be anchored and elevated. Unsecured fuel tanks can be carried away by floodwaters, allowing it to hit other objects and burst, as well as cause contamination of the area.
Waterproofing your home reduces the risk of water getting in and damaging it. The cost will depend on the waterproofing technique applied. If your area is prone to flooding, the more expensive options may be worthwhile to explore.
Here are a few general guidelines that can be done to help fortify your home against flooding:
- Fix leaks in the roof and install an underlayment – a rubber layer under the roof to prevent leakage.
- Fix cracks in the foundation or basement walls. If the crack goes all the way through the walls, getting professional help is recommended.
- Apply waterproof coating and sealant to your walls. Some products will only work on unpainted walls, so read the product information carefully.
- Install backflow valves to prevent sewerage from backing up through your pipes and up your toilet and drains.
- Prepare sandbags by doors and windows. If feasible, install flood doors and windows.
- Plastic sheets and panels are available for basements but must be used with a drainage system. They are typically installed on the basement walls to catch any water coming through and then redirected to the drainage system, where a sump pump can then take the water out of the house.
- Install a French Drain in your yard to redirect water away from your home. These are gravel filled trenches with a pipe at the bottom. Water can then be channeled to a tank, a lower area in your yard, or the streets.
Start by clearing and maintaining your gutters and drains. This will help carry water away from your home and should not be ignored when preparing for floods. Also, make sure to invest in a battery-operated sump pump. They are excellent for pumping water out of your house and can operate even when the power is out.
FEMA also advises to purchase Flood Insurance as standard insurance doesn’t cover floods.
It’s also not a bad idea to purchase flood insurance to help cover the repair costs. Most standard insurances don’t cover floods, so try to find an insurance company that specifically includes these in their policies.
Preparing your home against floods helps minimize the risk of damage and makes restoration easier and less costly. As long as you keep these helpful tips in mind, then you’ll be more than prepared to weather the storm.
If you are interested in preparing your home for a flood, HandyCrew can help you out. We specialize in repair, construction, and maintenance. Our experienced contractors offer high-quality professional service in Orange County, CA. We guarantee excellent workmanship delivered on schedule.