For much of the country, summer brings the ongoing threat of evening storms, which means rain – and plenty of it. Water can be one of nature’s most destructive forces, with damages from floods often being some of the most costly.
While Frontpoint offers a Water and Flood Sensor that lets you know if and when water makes its way into your home, we’d like to offer a few tips that could be useful in making sure it never even gets to that point.
Take a Look Around
It’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with your surrounding by analyzing the landscape around your home. After it rains, take a walk around your home and consider the following:
- Where have the large puddles accumulated? The closer they are to your home, the more likely they are to cause flooding.
- Are there slopes? Does your home sit up- or downhill?
- If your home does sit at the bottom of a hill, you may want to grade the land. Grading is the process of creating manmade slopes to channel water away.
Ready the Exterior
After you’ve surveyed the landscape of your home and identified possible risk factors, you can start protecting your home from flooding by performing the following tasks to the exterior:
- Clean the gutters – It’s an easy chore, and should be obvious, but many neglect to do it. Clean gutters will divert water from your home.
- Clear the downspouts – These are connected to the bottom of gutters and push water away from the home’s foundation. Make sure the water can flow away.
- Create barriers around the perimeter – If heavy rains are persistent, barriers made of sandbags, dirt, concrete or steel can keep water from reaching places you don’t want it to.
Prepare the Interior
After flood proofing the outside of your home, it’s time to strengthen the interior. While we hope the water never makes its way there, here are two primary ways to do this: dry floodproofing and wet floodproofing.
Dry floodproofing aims to keep floodwaters completely out of your home. While effective, it’s not an adequate solution for some homes, and should only be used on structurally sound buildings built on slab foundations, without basements or cellars. If your home is suitable for dry floodproofing, you would:
- Coat the walls and floors of your home’s foundation with waterproof sealants, or place plastic sheeting on them
- Seal or block doors or windows below the flood level
Wet floodproofing is a more effective and efficient solution when flooding is imminent. This method allows some water to enter and quickly reach the same level as water outside, which balances pressure. It might sound counterintuitive, but can actually decrease overall damage. Steps include:
- Ensure that flood-prone areas of the home are built with waterproof materials. For example, use concrete rather than drywall and wood.
- Install wall openings on foundation and garage walls to below the expected flood level to allow water to enter and exit
- Move all valuable items and appliances to elevated areas
Be Prepared for a Flood
Hopefully, no one has to ever experience a flood, but the reality is that no one is immune – they can occur anywhere. Floods are scary, dangerous situations, especially if you’re unprepared. Luckily, there are many things you can do to prepare yourself, such as following the many tips we’ve provided on this blog. Be prepared, be alert, and stay safe.