Many Americans don’t have flood insurance. FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) estimates that only 4% of properties are insured nationwide through the National Flood Insurance Program. Even in high-risk areas for flooding, just one in three properties have insurance.
It should be an urgent concern with climate change bringing more flooding and extreme weather, besides household factors like burst pipes. While residents don’t have flood insurance, they must protect their families, homes, and valuables by taking some actions to get water out. There are many websites featuring videos and articles for other tips on avoiding home flooding, like this link.
Ways to Avoid Flooding in Your Home
1. Keep Gutters Clean and Point Your Downspouts Away From Your Home
Most homeowners can take care of their gutters without hiring contractors. Thoroughly clean your gutters twice a year: one in fall and one in spring. However, if your home is near many trees, you may need to clean more often in the fall. And during the rainy season, keep an eye on your gutters to spot overflowing or clogs.
When cleaning your gutters, make sure that you practice ladder safety. Place it on level ground and properly lock it in place. Also, wear comfortable non-slip shoes. Hook an empty bucket to the ladder’s top to collect the debris you will remove. Use gloves and consider taking along a handy garden tool like a hand rake to scrape any wet sludge from the bottom of the gutter.
Furthermore, make sure to point your downspouts away from your home in a proper direction. Otherwise, water can pool at your house’s corners and eventually create leaks in the basement.
2. Fix Leaks Immediately
A small water leak in the house may be stressful, but for a good reason. It means that you have to find the source. If not, it can lead to a bigger problem, including flooding and water damage. Common leaks usually occur in the toilet, pipes under the sink, water lines to appliances, pipes in walls, and roof.
3. Cover Window Wells
Sometimes even newer windows can trap rain and groundwater in the basement. Investing a little in good quality window well covers prevents a more expensive flood damage restoration. Choose covers made of clear acrylic, so plenty of light still enters your basement.
4. Fill in the Cracks
It’s normal to have tiny cracks in your house’s foundation, especially if it’s an old building. But leaving them unrepaired lets water in, resulting in flooding and weakening the structure of your home. Use concrete patching paste to fill in small cracks.
5. Install Check Valves on Your Pipes
A burst pipe is one of the leading causes of household floods. Install valves on the pipes entering your house to avoid a flooded sewage system from backing up into your home. Consider using gate valves instead of flap valves because they provide a better seal against flood pressure.
6. Leave Space Between Mulch and Siding
Mulch around your home’s foundation can cause some unexpected problems without proper care. During the rainy season, wet mulch can rot your house’s siding, which can result in leaks. Make sure to keep space between your siding and mulch so that the base of your home can dry after rainstorms.
What You Should Do If It’s Too Late to Prevent Flooding
In case of flooding due to extreme weather, ensure your family’s safety first. Then save important documents (like passports, birth certificates), photographs, appliances, and other possessions. If you don’t have flood insurance, review your auto policy. While your homeowners insurance won’t cover flood damage, your car insurance may pay for the damage if the flood wrecked your vehicle.
Seek help from nonprofit organizations like the Red Cross. Try checking with your local government, state, and the national government for assistance such as free meals, temporary shelter, and any other help you need. There’s no other way to repair and restore your property than to hire a professional water damage restoration company.
You may apply for a low-interest loan for the expenses. However, be sure to choose experienced contractors and be aware of hidden charges. You don’t want to pay extra for something you didn’t know in the first place, especially during these difficult times. Ask for recommendations or turn to the internet and search “water damage restoration Hollywood” to limit your search if, for instance, you’re from the area.