Protect Your Home from A Flood  By Susan Massa Broker Associate CRS SRES ABR

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey many families have been thinking about what if it happened to us what can we do what steps to take should there be a flood in our area they can do to protect their home from a flood.  Here are a few steps to take.

1. Look into flood insurance

People who live in an area that is more prone to flooding may be better prepared if they have insurance and take certain precautions. if you live in a “100-year flood” zone, insurance is a necessity. No state is safe to disaster IE:  floods, coastal erosion, fires, tornadoes hurricanes major snow storms according to FEMA the Federal Emergency Management Agency,

Every homeowner and renter should look at their insurance policy and what is currently covered.  Don’t assume you are covered for flooding in your homeowner’s insurance policy. You must and pay for a separate flood insurance policy to be covered.  

2. Get to higher ground

It goes without saying that you should protect yourself in the case of a flood. But moving your important things to higher ground can help keep them safe as well. Only a little bit of water can do lasting damage. The best plan is elevation think about what you need to get to a higher elevation 2nd floor once the water reaches the first level and basement even if it’s an inch, you will have significant damage. You may not be able to keep the water out in every case, but moving furniture and important items to a higher floor or to the attic can help safeguard them.

If you are in a flood zone or flood plain you may consider permanently elevating the furnace, water heaters, circuit breakers and wiring should also be raised. If you use oil   anchor that oil storage tank so there are no contaminates that can wreak havoc in the home and the environment.  

3. Inspect the exterior of your home

Are there areas where water can easily get in to your house. Start patching and or repairing any potential leak area. Figure out how the water flows away from the home.  The next rainstorm check the foundation.  If you have a Grade level attached garage have sandbags handy to prevent the water getting in the garage area is a great strategy to have.

4. Clear gutters, downspouts and all drains. As you are inspection and checking around your home and foundation make sure   your gutters, downspouts, and drains flow away from the foundation. This is a must even if you are not in a flood prone area. This is one of the most important task and an easy one that will save you from much heart ache and damage.

5. Install a sewer line backflow valve

When there is a tremendous amount of water rushing thru the main storm and sewer lines in the street, there is a possibility that water will seek   levels and back into your basement an automatic back flow valve will close and prevent damage. This is a simple installation.

6. Do a major retrofit

Does your home flood frequently and moving is not an option, you may need to take prudent and drastic measures? That could mean raising “your home on piers or columns so that the lowest floor is above the flood level (approximate cost: $20,000). Wet-proofing your home by installing foundation vents that would allow water to flow through the building, instead collecting and rising inside and causing more damage. Also think about dry proofing by applying coatings and sealant materials to your walls to keep out water.

7. Install a battery powered sump pump system    and or Base Pump water sump pump system

 If your electricity power goes out, and your sump pump is electric powered then so does your ability to pump water out of your house.  You need to install a battery backup system and even better a Base pump water sump pump system.  The battery powered back up has the capacity depending on the water accumulations in the water pit can last 2 to 3 days. If the power is out longer have a second fully charged battery to switch too.

The Water Base pump system works differently without power. Here’s how it works: Base pump is powered by a siphon ejector system, which uses city water pressure to create a vacuum source. This powerful vacuum siphons water out of your sump pit, and the city water pressure discharges it from your house. When water rises above the normal high-water level in your sump pit, for any reason, the Base pump float lifts. The float then opens a valve, sending municipal water through the Base Pump Ejector. This water flow creates powerful suction, which draws sump water up from your pit and discharges it outdoors. Once the float returns to its normal level, a pre-set timing control keeps Base pump pumping long enough to completely drain the sump before switching off. This cycle repeats when the water level rises above normal again.

8. Change your Homes landscape

Use Porous outdoor surfaces help water seep into the ground instead of streaming toward your home. Depressions   A swale is a depression   channels storm water runoff away from your house, converting concrete or asphalt driveways to gravel or brick, and using absorbent mulch can help manage heavy rain and reduce potential flood damage. Placing a rain barrel beneath a gutter downspout will not only help in basement flooding but reduce flooding and pollution of local waterways.

There’s an innovative trend and the use of wisdom from nature to allow water to be absorbed when there’s an excess. Instead of using water-resistant concrete, permeable materials and green spaces will be used to soak up rainfall, and rivers and streams will be interconnected so that water can flow away from flooded areas. This trend is becoming the norm.