In 2016, more than any other year, 19 floods took a toll on the nation.
While every year is different, there is no way of predicting how many floods will affect the U.S. in 2019.
With summer and the rainy season around the corner, you need to take the necessary steps to protect your home from a flood.
Read on for these 10 flood prevention tips.
1. Evaluate Your Risk
The first step to prevent flooding this summer is to find out if your home is at risk. There are many government agencies such as FEMA that can help you determine if your house is in the flood zone.
You can visit Floodsmart.gov to find the map of your area and determine if your home is at risk. It’s important to prepare and educate yourself to take the necessary precautions.
Keep in mind that you should be checking the flood map every year because the flood hazards change over time. Some factors that influence the risk of flooding include terrain changes, community development, weather changes, and even wildfires.
The map will show your community’s flood zones, elevations, and even floodplain boundaries. If your home is within the 100-year floodplain, it’s considered at risk of flooding.
2. Flood Insurance
If your home is within the 100-year floodplain, you will need to get flood insurance to protect your home. In fact, those located in the flood zone with a federally backed mortgage are required by law to obtain flood insurance.
It’s a misconception by homeowners that if they lose their house to a flood, the government will help them cover the cost. More often than not, the funds are not enough to cover the flood damages.
Even if your home is not in the flood zone, you should still consider buying a flood insurance policy. Out of all flood insurance claims, 25 percent of them came from people not living in a flood zone.
3. Sewage Water Backstop
Cities susceptible to basement flooding like Chicago have implemented the installation of backflow prevention valves in the basement to prevent the backing up and flooding of basements.
There are many different versions of this system that helps prevent flooding of basements. It’s also known in some places as a sum pump.
The goal of the sum pump and backstops is to absorb the extra water that might be building up in your basement before it causes any damage.
There are many local programs that help subsidize the installation of these devices.
4. Elevate Boiler
If you have a basement in your home, chances are your boiler, utilities, and other HVAC equipment will be located there. Boilers and other utilities located in the basement are more vulnerable to suffering damage during a flood.
If your home is in the flood zone, consider moving your boiler to a higher level of the house.
You can also raise the boiler off the ground with the help of a platform. This solution is for people who don’t live in the flood zone and have a lower risk of flooding.
Talk to your insurance agent about the possibility of helping with the move. They might be willing to help you out if it would save them thousands of dollars in flood damage.
5. Change Your Landscape
Your landscape plays a major role in determining whether your house will get flooded this summer.
If your yard is in a slope downgrading towards your home, your basement is at risk of flooding after heavy rains. Next time it rains, observe whether or not there are pools of water in your lawn that accumulate near your walls.
Your lawn needs to be on a slope away from your house. The water should flow towards the street and gutters.
There are a few things you can try with your landscape to prevent flooding:
- Dig a depression or swale
- Install a rain garden
- Look into a green roof
- Use porous surfaces
Consult with a landscaping expert to look at more ways your landscape can help you prevent a flood.
6 Think About Relocating
Although you might not want to think about relocating from your home, it could always be a possibility. If you live in the flood zone and your house has flooded in the past, you should consider relocating to a safer area.
Every time your house floods it takes a toll on you financially and emotionally.
Check with your local FEMA office and see if there are any government assistance programs for repetitive loss properties.
Depending on the circumstance, sometimes the government buys out a home based on its pre-flooding value. This program helps victims of flooding relocate to a safer area and cuts back on flood management resources.
7. Don’t Neglect the Gutters
Cleaning out the gutters might seem like a small menial task, but it plays an important role in flood prevention.
When you fail to clean out your gutters, you leave residue and dirt that backs them up. If your gutters can’t drain properly, the water will dump out all at once into your foundation and the perimeter of your home.
In order to prevent this from happening, make sure you clean out your gutters before the rainy season. This is an easy task that can save you thousands of dollars.
8. Extend Downspouts
Taking care of your downspouts is another preventative measure you can use to prevent a flood.
If the downspouts end on the ground right next to your foundation, you should consider extending them. Have them end further away from your walls than usual.
9. Gap Between Mulch and Siding
If you have flower beds with mulch surrounding the perimeter of your home, make sure you leave a space between the mulch and your walls.
Even a small gap of about 6 inches can make a difference.
Implement These Flood Prevention Tips
These flood prevention tips can help protect your home from a flood this summer. Even small changes can make a difference. To protect your home from a flood, start by evaluating your risk, changing your landscape, and getting flood insurance.
Are you in the St. Petersburg area looking for insurance to protect your home? HH Insurance can help.
We specialize in flood, home, life insurance, and more. Contact us for a quote.