7 Tips for Preventing Flooding in Your Home

Homes all across the country are at some risk for flooding, whether you’re in a flood zone or not. A flood can occur as a result of a severe storm, if the snow melts too fast, or if a river or lake overflows. Homes near the ocean may flood if a storm churns up large waves. It is the most common natural disaster.

Flooding can cause serious (and expensive) problems. It makes roads impassable. It can cause severe injuries or the loss of human and animal lives. Personal property can be destroyed, including your home. Water can get inside of your house, ruining furniture, flooring, and precious items. While some flood damage can be fixed, other damage can render a home unlivable. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to protect your house from in-home flooding. There are solutions to flooding damage and prevention.

Grade Your Lawn

Check to see which way your lawn is graded. If it’s graded toward your house, water will flow toward it. This greatly increases your risk for flooding in the home. You want to make sure that the soil around your house is angled away from your foundation.

Seal Cracks in Your Foundation

Cracks in your foundation can develop over time. Some occur as a result of settling while others may occur due to changes in pressure. Sometimes, tree roots can grow up against the side of your house. They can put pressure on the foundation, which can then cause cracks to develop. Any cracks in your foundation, no matter how small, can let water into your home. In addition to flooding, cracks can weaken the strength of your foundation. This can lead to other serious problems.

To protect your home from flooding, you should seal cracks in your foundation. Mortar and masonry caulk are fairly affordable and can be found at most home improvement stores. You can also use hydraulic cement, which expands to fill gaps.

Apply a Sealant

Another option is to use coatings or sealants. You can apply sealants to your walls, windows, doors, and foundation. The sealant is designed to prevent water from getting in. You can find sealants in most home improvement stores for an affordable price.

Protect Your Basement Windows

Basement windows that are close to ground level provide a way for water to get into your home. Instead of traditional windows, you may want to consider investing in basement egress windows. Not only do they look aesthetically pleasing, but they also help to protect your basement from unwanted flooding. You can help to further protect your basement windows by investing in window well covers. There are several options to choose from, many of which still allow plenty of natural light into your basement.

Keep Gutters Clear

Your gutters play a crucial role in keeping water away from the sides of your home. They catch the water that rolls off of your roof and direct it to the downspouts. This prevents moisture from building up in the soil around your foundation, which could cause in-home flooding and other serious problems. If your gutters are dirty, they can’t properly collect and remove water. Leaves, dirt, and other debris can build up, causing clogs. Be sure to check your gutters regularly and clean them as necessary. The frequency at which you check them will depend upon your location and how many trees you have. At the very least, you should check them twice a year.

The direction of your downspouts matters as well. Make sure that your downspouts are pointed away from your foundation. Again, this will help to keep unwanted moisture away from your home.

Install Check Valves

Flooding can cause serious issues in a sewer system. As the sewer floods, it can back up into your home, causing major problems. Not only will you have dirty water in your home, but your family may also be faced with hazardous conditions. Install sewer or septic line check valves. These valves allow water to only flow in one direction, which helps to prevent wastewater from flowing back into your home in the event of flood conditions. If you are handy, you can install the valves yourself. Or, you can have them installed by a professional. This can help to provide peace of mind that they are installed correctly and that they’ll work properly.

Invest in a Sump Pump

A sump pump works to remove water from your home, providing you with a great defense against in-home flooding. They pump the water that gets into your home back outdoors. Most sump pumps are powered by electricity. While effective, they won’t work if the power goes out. You can find sump pumps that also have a battery backup. With the backup, you can be assured that your sump pump will continue to work even if a storm has knocked out your power.

In addition to taking measures to prevent in-home flooding, there are steps that you can take to prevent injuries and the destruction of personal items. Make sure that your outlets, switches, and circuit breaker are installed at least a foot above expected flood levels for your area. Elevate your washer and dryer. Anchor outdoor equipment, making sure that it’s elevated off of the ground. Ensure that your valuables are kept up high. Protecting your home can help to prevent water from getting in. Should the water manage to get in though, these steps can help you to minimize the damage.

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