It’s almost impossible to predict flooding in your area. You can, however, prepare for the worst. There are steps you can take immediately prior to a flood and well in advance to protect your home from significant damage.
Best Practices for Flood-Proofing Your Home
Looking for anti-flood measures to invest in just prior to a big storm? Your last-minute solutions are plentiful and include:
1. Investing in A Sump Pump
Sump pumps are among the most effective waterproofing solutions available to homeowners new and old. If you want a waterproofing measure that will actively clear water out of your home, a sump pump is the way to go.
The cost of sump pump installation will vary based on the pump brand you’re interested in. Most pumps should remove up to 2,000 gallons of water from your home per hour. Even so, you won’t want to rely on just a normal sump pump. Be sure to talk to the contractors in your area about a battery backup sump pump, too. These battery backups will keep water out of your home even if the power goes out, and they work just as well as standard pumps.
2. Inspecting Your Gutters and Drains
Gutters and downspouts alike actively direct water away from your home – when they’re installed properly. Prior to a big storm, you’ll want to get on a ladder and determine whether things are set as they should be. This means clearing out any gunk that may cause your gutters to overflow. It also means realigning your downspouts if they’ve shifted out of place. If you don’t act quickly, these waterproofing measures may end up directing water back toward your foundation.
3. Using Smart Water Sensors
If you want to use technology to your advantage, you can always invest in smart water sensors. These sensors connect to an app on your phone and will let you know when water starts to make its way into the lowest parts of your basement. After the storm’s passed on, you’ll be able to share this data with a local contractor and invest in individualized waterproofing solutions.
4. Finding the High Ground
When in doubt, place the belongings you value most higher up in your basement. It will take longer for floodwaters to reach the highest shelves, which means your belongings are more likely to stay safe the higher up they are.
5. Considering Backflow Drain Valves
It’s also worthwhile to install backflow drain valves before a storm. These valves prevent your sewer from overflowing and sending sewage back into your home. As such, backflow drains keep your home from flooding and your family from falling victim to the bacteria in your sewer.
Preventing Flood Damage
If you want to invest in long-term anti-flood measures before a storm comes your way, you have a veritable plethora of options to choose from. Some of the most effective anti-flood measures you should consider investing in ahead of time include:
1. Basement-Based Flood Vent
Adding vents to your basement to prevent flooding may seem counterproductive. When you do, though, you work to preserve the overall structural integrity of your home. Consider this: when hydrostatic pressure builds outside of your home, it threatens to crack your walls and damage your foundation. In the midst of a flood, water with nowhere to go can force so much pressure onto your home that the walls and foundation can be entirely ruined.
Basement flood vents give that water somewhere to go. This way, your structural supports stay intact. You can even pair these vents with internal waterproofing solutions so you can pump the excess water they allow in out of your home.
2. Lifted Utilities
As mentioned, it’s a good idea to keep anything you want water-free higher up in your basement. This may mean investing in higher shelves or simply rearranging those things that are most important to you, like a fire safe or childhood belongings. It’s also a good idea to elevate appliances like washers, dryers, and water heaters to keep them damage-free and functioning.
3. Interior French Drains
French drains are cousins to sump pumps. They don’t actively pump water out of your basement, but they use a system of pipes around the perimeter of your home to redirect water that gets inside. If you’re looking to prevent significant flood damage, an interior drainage system can give you the support you need.
These drains also pair well with sump pumps and can provide your pump with the pipeline it needs to better protect your home.
4. Exterior Drain Curtains
Nothing makes interior flooding worse than a blocked drain. If you want to keep your exterior drains from clogging up, consider investing in an exterior drain curtain. These curtains, which are often made to both look like and imitate loose gravel, will prevent large objects from obstructing your drains. As such, the water you’re removing from your home will stay out, and your pipes will retain their overall integrity instead of cracking under undue water pressure.
When you invest in preventative anti-flood measures, you’re doing more than preventing interior damage. If you share your anti-flood plans with an insurance agent, you may be able to better negotiate for lower premiums. Ready to start discussing your anti-flood options? Reach out to the foundation and basement repair contractors working in your area for a free inspection and estimate and to start discussing your options.