Floods can be absolutely devastating. They can destroy not only your house, but all of the things that make you feel at home. As wet conditions cause flooding around the country, we want to help you protect your home from floods, both today and in the future. See below for some tips about how to mitigate the damage caused by flooding and prevent it from occurring in the first place.
How to protect your house from floods:
- There are quite a few systems that protect your entire house from leaks and pipe bursts that can act as the first line of defense against any type of flood. The Leaksmart protection system stops pipe bursts before damage occurs by turning off the main water supply when leaks or busts are detected. The Leaksmart sensors will also inform you where the leak is coming from, giving you ample time to mitigate any damage if flooding starts to enter your house.
- Clean your catch basin or storm drain. Remove debris or garbage. Doing so will allow for water to get into the drain sooner lower the chances of flooding.
- Have a good sump pump and back up sump pump. A sump pump is a pump used to remove water that has accumulated in a water-collecting sump basin, commonly found in the basements of homes.
- Make sure your gutters are clear of leaves and debris. Allowing your gutters to drain properly. You should also make sure that gutters drain away from your home.
- Apply coatings and sealants to the foundation of your house for waterproofing. This helps protect your home from water seeping in.
How to limit damage after a flood has started:
- If a leak is the source of flooding, turn off the water supply to your house.
- Use sandbags to block any gaps in doors, windows, or other openings that may lead to flooding.
- Move your belongings to an elevated space to protect them from flood waters.
- Should flood water encroach on any parts of your electrical system, shut off your electricity. During a flooding event, always assume that every wire or electrical appliance is live.
- Make sure your sump pump is working and is on.
- Use a shop vacuum or bilge pump to remove water as it comes in. Remember to drain water away from your home.
- Photograph or videotape any flooding in order to document and defend your claim with your flood insurance provider.
How to clean up after a flood:
- Use a shop vacuum or Zoeller 42 sucker pump to remove any standing water. Once the water is removed, use air dryers or fans in the affected areas to remove all moisture.
- Remove all articles that have been submerged in water. Any materials that are porous or absorbent (such as furniture, carpet, and curtains) should be taken to a professional cleaning company or disposed of. Beyond the water damage, flood water often contains contaminants and other elements that are potentially dangerous and stay in place after the water is gone.
- Shovel out and remove debris and mud brought in by flood waters.
- Once the damaged materials are removed and the home is dry, check for mold on walls, floors, and other surfaces. An easy way to spot mold is to look for spotting or dark blotches, typically with a green or black appearance. If mold or mildew are present, you should call an inspector to assess if the mold or mildew has begun to grow in non-visible places, such as behind drywall or on the subfloor.
- Disinfect all surfaces in your home.
While floods can be devastating and unpredictable, taking the aforementioned precautions will give you a fighting chance. Leak detection systems, clearing and maintaining gutters, clearing catch basins, and other steps may be costly, time-consuming, or both. However, the costs to put your house back together after a flood will be far higher. Our counter associates give you the tools you need to stop floods before they even happen.
Most importantly, stay safe out there!