For many homeowners, flooding is becoming more of a nightmare than ever before. Instances of devastating damages and disruption of properties are becoming increasingly common. These days, downpours are becoming more massive, more frequent and unpredictable, all because of climate change.
And when you couple these with a national landscape filled with asphalt pavements, then you have a situation where homes are left more vulnerable to flooding. With all these in mind, you need a comprehensive home flood prevention plan, so that you are always safe.
The key to successful flood prevention is to have in place preventive measures, and not reactive ones. In this post, we will highlight the usual measures such as flood barriers, sandbags and much more.
Home Flood Prevention Mechanisms
Unless you have a home perched on a hill or any raised ground, then home flooding can become a severe problem without the right measures in place. On certain occasions, the flooding might not be even as a result of downpours.
Home plumbing leakages are known to cause the soaking of furniture, carpets, walls as well as ruining electronics, more so if you have a basement. Here are some of the measures you can use to prevent your home from getting submerged in water.
- Evaluate the Probability of Your Home Flooding
Your first step to protecting your home from either flush floods or the abnormal downpours is to determine the likelihood of flooding in your area. Being in the know helps you develop a foolproof plan of action when disaster strikes your home.
The FEMA Flood Map Service provides you with the data showing a generalized flood risk assessment of your location. By entering your zip code, you can see what flood zone your area is in and the reports on the area’s flooding history.
The flooding maps are divided into separate zones, with each having a different probability of experiencing risks. It can be a Blue zone which has a 1% chance of floods, meaning it’s most likely to suffer floods. These zones are the highest risk designations and require that you flood proof your home.
Then there are orange zones with 0.2% chances of flooding. Yellow zones have an undetermined risk of flooding, meaning you need to carry out the due diligence research yourself. Try asking around for the flooding history. Blue zones striped red is classified as regulatory floodways and should be avoided as much as possible.
- Routinely Clean Water Ways Around the House
During the rainy seasons, a blocked waterspout or drainage pipe causes the running water around the house to back up. As the level of the still water rises, it finds a way into your home, hence the flooding as it has nowhere else to flow to.
To prevent this mishap, you need to carry out routine maintenance works on the waterways on your property. Get rid of the debris and leaves that may be clogging the gutters, downspouts, and drains.
While at it, do not forget to position the eavestroughs such that they point away from the house and its foundation. When done, use your garden hose to water down the gutters to test how freely the water flows away from home.
- Install Flood Detectors at Home
While you have no control over the natural causes of home flooding, you do have total control over the artificial ones. Water leaks in the house are some of the reasons for artificial flooding, more so when you have appliances in the home which use large quantities of water.
If a leak occurs when you are in the house, then you can shut off the water source and repair it. However, what happens if the leaks happen when you aren’t around? As a precautionary measure, you should install alarms, leak and flood detectors.
Devices such as the Wireless WaterCop Sensor work by detecting any leaks then sends signals to the auto shut off valves on the main supply pipes. In turn, the water leak is stopped before it waterlogs your house.
You can strategically place these leaks detectors at points close to water heaters, washing machines, toilet flushes, dishwashers, and sinks. It is a way of covering every likely spot prone to experiencing a leak.
Just as you usually switch off the lights when leaving the house, why don’t you strategically place a WaterCop Water Control Wall? It could be near the lights switch so that when you leave, you turn off any water supply that will not be needed.
- Install and Maintain Shutoff and Backwater Valves
It is one thing to have in place flood detection systems, and another to have them all working in unison. These systems always work as a unit and require the other to function. After installing the leak detectors, you need the corresponding auto shutoff valve to stop the water flow.
A WaterCop LeakStopPlus receives the signals from the leak censor from the automation system. Consequently, it then cuts off the flow of water to the affected areas. Another option you would consider is the WaterCop Control Valve, which works in the same way as the LeakStopPlus.
During the rainy season, the municipal sewer lines tend to be overworked and may fail. When that happens, the water will flow back into your home through the drainage pipes the wastewater flows through.
The best way of preventing the backflow is to have a Backwater Valve along with the drainage pipes. The valves are easy and economical to install. Above all, it blocks all that raw sewage and wastewater from flowing back and flooding your home in case the flow exceeds the sewer lines capacity.
- Have A Sump Pump on Standby
Home flood prevention mechanisms without a sump pump are no preventive measures at all. If you are in one of the zones that flooding frequently occurs in, then you need a way of directing all that water away from your house.
Allowing the water to pool around your home puts pressure on the walls and may find its way into the basement. Having a sump pump, a sump pit and foundation vents provide outlets for getting rid of any stagnant water.
We do recommend that you buy a battery backup for your pump, to keep your basement from flooding in case the power goes out. A good practice would be to maintain this pump before the flooding season begins regularly. It is the surest way of being prepared for the unlikely event.
- Ensure Water Is Always Flowing Away from The House
Specific homes have a design flaw, whereby when it rains, instead of the water flowing away from the house, it flows towards it. The most susceptible ones are the ones with lawns tilting towards the house. Such mistakes make home flood prevention a little harder than usual.
When planning the landscape, make provisions for water to be able to flow out of the property, into any nearby street gutters. The best way of rectifying the flaw is to add heavy soils containing both sand and clay in the slopping portions to regrade the lawn.
As you do the redesigning, the key is to ensure all the runoff from the surfaces around empties from the house into the most appropriate place.
- Wet and Dry Proof the House
Dry proofing your house is another way of preventing flood water from leaking into the house through cracks. The process involves applying sealants and waterproof coatings on the house foundation, windows, doorways, and doors.
The applied coat acts as a layer preventing water from sipping in through the crack into the house. As earlier described, wet proofing your home involves the installation of foundation vents which provides channels for water to flow through the house instead of pooling.
We recommend looking for professional vent installation services for a more efficient setup on different walls. During the installation process remember to install actuators along the water pipes and plumbing works. They provide you with double protection layers in the event of leaks.
- Put Up Barriers Around the House
This mechanism is one of the old-fashioned ways of home Flood Prevention. At some point, you must have used sandbags to act as barriers to restrict water flow. These barriers serve as the first layer of defense in the event of a torrential downpour.
Traditionally, homeowners in high-risk flood zones used to line their properties with sandbags to keep out surface runoff water. It is a technique still in use, although advancement in technology has led to the design of more efficient flood barriers.
Nowadays you have PVC water gates which trap flood water, then uses the water pressure to gain stability. Then there are the Water Inflated Property Barriers (WIPB). These barriers use the water causing damages to inflate itself, hence containing any imminent flooding.
Floodgates are gaining popularity too, just as the barriers in providing a rapid defense against floods. Of these, the swing-hinged type works excellent for an everyday gate, while still keeping out runoff water. Better yet, there are provisions for larger gates for your driveways.
- Raise the House on Piers and Stilts
Adapting to your flooding conditions is another way of getting about home flood prevention. Although it is an expensive process especially if done after you had built the house, it still works best in keeping you above the flood level.
We suggest that you use this technique when constructing a new house in a flood-prone area so that you are not troubled with floods.
Even an inch of flooding can cause significant damages to your home and property at large. Rather than taking reactive measures after the loss, being prepared to tackle the problem beforehand would the best course of action.
We hope these ideas on home flood prevention have provided you with solutions for the flooding problem you might be having.