If you live in a flood-prone area, you need to find ways to protect your home. But what does it take to build a flood-proof house? Find out here.
On average, 1 in 50 homes needs to make a claim for water damage.
Water damage is a really common problem if you live in an area that’s prone to flooding. Whether you experience heavy rains or you live in an area that has hurricanes, flooding can become a problem for your safety and property.
Floods can create mold and mildew in your basement, or it can damage your HVAC equipment and electronics. This can cost thousands of dollars out of pocket to pay for yourself!
To learn about how you can create a flood-proof house, keep reading.
How to Create a Flood-Proof House
If you live in an area that’s prone to heavy rains or extreme weather like hurricanes, these storms can be detrimental to your home.
Not only can the actual structure of your home be compromised but your belongings as well. This can create a huge water damage repair bill, as well as a loss of personal items that can’t be replaced.
If your home floods often, it’s time to create a plan to protect yourself and your home. Here are some ways to flood-proof your home:
Raise Your Boiler
If you have a boiler or any other HVAC equipment in your basement, it’s vulnerable to flood damage.
If your home floods often, you’re going to want to raise this equipment. You can do this by building platforms to put it on. That way if your basement floods, your equipment will be elevated above where the water can’t affect it.
If you have the option, you can also consider moving the equipment to another floor. However, building a platform may be the easiest and safest option.
Alter Your Landscaping
Many homes are vulnerable to flooding because of the way the landscaping was done.
If the bottom of your home has a gap, you may experience issues with water leaking into the basement. Also, if the bottom of your home is porous, water may leak in as well.
Adding mulch or other materials to the bottoms of your home to close that gap will be incredibly helpful if your property floods. For additional help, consider creating ditches or swales to draw the water away from the structure of your home.
Digging swales will cause the water to pool up in the ground rather than in your basement.
Add a Sewer Water Backstop
If you live in a larger city that experiences a lot of flooding, you may be able to have prevention valves installed.
The great part about living in a larger city with this issue is that fixing it can actually be covered by the city! The prevention valves that your city will provide prevent the backflow of water into the basement.
Sometimes sewer mains will back up into the basement when heavy rains happen. The valve will also prevent this from happening. Reach out to a plumber in your area to learn about your options.
Invest in Flood Insurance
There’s only so much that you can do yourself to physically protect your home from flood damage.
Once you’ve flood-proofed your house, it’s time to look at flood insurance. When you invest in flood insurance you can cover your belongings in the case of a flood. Flood insurance is actually required by law if you live near a flood plain!
Even if you aren’t required by law to buy flood insurance, you should consider it if your area is prone to flooding. Standard home insurance doesn’t cover property that has been damaged by extreme weather, so investing in flood insurance will save you money.
Guard Your Electrical and HVAC Systems
For safety reasons, any outlets, sockets, wiring, or circuit breakers should be above flood level.
This is around one foot above the ground. In addition to keeping electrical components above flood level, you should do the same with HVAC equipment. If you use electronics like a TV, gaming station, or computer, you’ll want to keep the wires above flood level as well.
Take Note of the Water Flow in Your Neighborhood
A huge factor that will impact your home flooding is the water flow in your neighborhood.
For example, if there’s a hill that sends water into your yard and your neighbor’s yard, water will likely pool on your property. This will increase the risk of your home flooding drastically.
This is not a problem that can be fixed by you alone, so you may need to get the county planning department involved. They can figure out a way to direct water elsewhere or build swales or other preventative measures.
Move Belongings in Case of Emergency
Even if you’ve taken every precautionary measure to avoid flooding in your home, you may want to consider moving your belongings before a storm.
There’s a risk that small amounts of water can get in your house still, even if you’ve made it less vulnerable to flooding. Furniture, electronics, and rugs can be ruined if even small amounts of water get to them. So, you may want to move these.
After you hear about the storm warning, consider moving all your belongings to the top level of the home. In a ranch style home, this will be the ground floor. In a multi-level home, this will be the third floor.
If you have a ranch-style home and can’t elevate your belongings more than ground level, pull them away from the walls. Centering your belongings in the middle of the home will reduce the risk of water damage.
Are You Protected?
Flooding is very inconvenient, but a common problem for homes in the United States.
Luckily, there are a few different ways that you can create a flood-proof house. Some of these can be done by you quickly, while other methods involve reaching out for help.
While flood-proofing your home will take a bit of time and money, you will save on the water damage repairs you would otherwise have.
If you found this article helpful, don’t forget to check out our other blog posts!