Flood-Proofing a House with Smart Flood Sensors & Strategies
Protecting your home from costly water damage—even remotely—has never been easier, thanks to smart flood sensors
If you haven’t considered the possibility of your home flooding, here are some sobering facts. More Americans live in areas prone to flooding than ever before, and residents face a much more common threat than Mother Nature. Water damage to a home is far more likely to happen because of a broken pipe or a misbehaving appliance, as these events are “the second most common type of homeowner insurance claim.” The risks make flood-proofing a house an essential part of preventative home maintenance.
This blog explains how installing flood sensors networked to a home security system can help you do it. We also go over tips on preventing the most common types of residential flooding and water damage.
A small solution to a very large problem
If you’ve been unlucky enough to clean up after a flood, you know that what the water leaves behind can be even worse than its initial impact. Even an inch of standing water can cause lasting damage to floors, carpets, drywall, wiring, and possibly even the framework that supports the home. Mold, a parting gift of many home floods, is particularly difficult to remove and can lead to significant health problems.
The possibility of water damage should be near the top of every homeowner’s list of concerns. Thankfully, the flood sensors offered by Frontpoint present a strong line of defense.
Flood sensors are a powerful, cost-effective part of a DIY home security system. These unobtrusive devices detect even a small amount of water when used correctly. And catching the early signs of flooding means you can do something about it, often saving thousands of dollars in damage.
Frontpoint Flood Sensors can be installed within 100 feet of the Frontpoint Hub, in places within your home where leaks could be a problem. This typically includes the basement or ground floor, attics, and near appliances such as a water heater, washing machine, or sump pump.
How z-wave flood sensors work
The Frontpoint Flood Sensor works by detecting water at two metal prongs at the bottom of the device. If these prongs get wet, the flood sensor activates and sends a signal to the Frontpoint Hub using a secure communications signal called Z-Wave.
The system will then do several things:
Your control panel will beep to indicate a flood alarm.
You can receive push, text, and email notifications, and the Frontpoint App will always indicate the sensor’s status.
Frontpoint’s professional monitoring personnel will call you!
Frontpoint’s Flood Sensors float if the water reaches that level. And if whatever is causing the flooding also causes the power to go out, don't worry. These battery-operated sensors use Z-Wave technology and are not reliant on Wi-Fi. And the hub that controls the entire system will broadcast alerts over a cellular signal and has a battery backup, as well.
One of the best parts about these little devices is how they integrate with the rest of a DIY security system. If you're not home and have Indoor Cameras or Premium Indoor Cameras set up, you can use a browser or the Frontpoint App to assess the situation. And because it’s a Z-Wave system, you can also buy and set up a Z-Wave water shut-off valve to stop the flood by hitting a button in the Frontpoint App.
The user-friendly Frontpoint App gives you round-the-clock visibility on what's happening at home.
Flood sensors are incredibly easy to incorporate into a Frontpoint system. They arrive pre-programmed and ready to sync with your Hub, right out of the box.
Here’s a scenario demonstrating how a homeowner can avoid costly water damage with Frontpoint’s flood sensors. Imagine that you’re away on vacation, and a deteriorating washing machine hose ruptures. The water making contact with the flood sensor triggers an alert sent to the system’s control panel. The panel sounds an alarm that no one hears—but also sends you a mobile notification.
You pull up the basement’s indoor camera on the Frontpoint App, see (and cringe at) the spraying water that’s pooling on the floor, and call a next-door neighbor to shut off the house’s main water supply. Or better yet—just navigate to the app’s networked Z-Wave smart shut-off valve and stop the water in seconds.
Sure, there’s going to be some water on the floor when you or someone else gets home. But you just saved yourself thousands of dollars in damage.
Preventative measures for flood-proofing a house
Flood sensors are a crucial part of protecting a home from water damage, but there are other proactive steps for flood-proofing a house. Here’s a quick checklist for handling potential flood hazards:
Perform routine inspections of all water-connected appliances according to manufacturer instructions. Aside from the obvious water heaters, sump pumps, and washing machines, refrigerators can also be potential sources of leaks.
Replace hoses on washing machines and other appliances about every five years and select quality parts. Old and poorly made appliance hoses degrade quickly.
Check and clean the air conditioner’s drain pan to spot and avoid drain line clogs—a best practice is to check the drain pan for standing water whenever you change the air filter every month to three months. Make sure all condensate is draining properly. If not, clear any clogs or get the system serviced by a professional.
Find out what your pipes are made of and how old they are. If you live in an older house and have lead, steel, or cast iron pipes, be sure to inspect them regularly. A general rule is every two years, but older homes often require annual inspections.
If you have pipes that may be exposed to freezing temperatures, protect them with insulation or climate control. Freezing water expands and can break pipes, causing a messy leak when the weather warms. Many homeowners, including seasonal residents, completely drain the system if they are away for some time or keep the heat on low.
Check your home’s water pressure, which should be no more than about 60 psi. Overstrained pipes can leak and fail.
And while no one can control mother nature, there are some steps you can take to minimize damage to property from storms, such as maintaining the roof and gutters and using strategic landscaping.
Extra peace of mind when flood-proofing a house, at home or away
Water on the floor is always a possibility, despite the best attempts to flood-proof a house. But technology and preventative maintenance can stop most home floods in their tracks or prevent them altogether. And a complete Frontpoint security system helps homeowners and renters take smart-home living and protection to the next level.
Environmental sensors help safeguard your home from all kinds of hazards, including flooding, fires, and carbon monoxide buildup. Intrusion sensors and cameras detect anyone who shouldn’t be there. And because Frontpoint uses Z-Wave technology, you can control a vast array of smart devices—security-related or not—through a single hub and app.
Frontpoint's smart technology puts commercial-grade security in the hands of homeowners and renters. For questions about our system, installer-free approach, or flood sensors, contact us at 1-877-602-5276.
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