Every spring, homeowners, and especially those who live close to waterways, fear being flooded. The damage this disaster causes is serious, and thus, we can understand the concern.
In order to minimize water from entering your property and ensuring it's protected, there are plenty of precautions you can take to prepare. To help you through this process, we’ve taken the time to draw up a list of measures.
As we pointed in many of our other articles, it’s essential that the slope of your land isn’t negative. What this means is that its slope should not be towards your home. This is because a negative slope prevents the flow of water and will move towards your foundation. Sooner or later, too much water in the direction of your home will cause your foundation to crack. Bear in mind that to properly play its role in getting water to flow correctly, the slope should incline two inches per foot for the first 5 feet of your property. In addition to these slope measurements, we recommend using clay to help the water flow properly.
At the same time, take care to examine the state of your patio or terrace. If either is showing signs of subsidence, excess water will be directed towards the foundation in the same way as a negative slope. In the case of heavy rain, you're at a high risk of being flooded.
To block the entrance of water from finding its way inside the basement, be sure to caulk your windows as well as the perimeter of the door, especially if your basement has a second entrance. Containment walls will come to the rescue to repel this influx of unwanted water. For this reason, be sure to install these in front of doors and windows. In the same regard, also seal any small cracks in your foundation that are noticeable.
Following these suggestions, remember that your appliances and assets must also be protected from water. If you have enough space on the upper floors, then we’d suggest moving anything of value and mounting things where and when possible. If not, install cement blocks so items can be placed above the water level. For items whose location cannot be changed due to the fact that they’re anchored into the ground, use containment walls. These will work to adequately block water and thus, provide effective protection.
The quality of your plumbing system and its installation are of paramount importance to protect your home in case of a flood. We’d advise calling a professional so that they can examine the confines of your plumbing system and its piping. Further, make sure it’s up to date with the National Plumbing Code.
Second, make sure that your toilet and drain are equipped with backflow valves. Do avoid putting oil or grease down your drain, as this will lead to blockage. Thirdly, check that your sump pump is in good working order. This will help you to avoid being caught unprepared if any of these items fail, and have an extra battery on hand. Note that you can also provide your sump pump with an automatic feed pump to help things along and keep them moving.
With regard to your gutters, make sure they aren’t clogged with trash while also being in good condition. Therefore, it's important to regularly clean your gutters, as well as repairing or replacing them when required. For your downspouts to perform effectively, note that they must allow water to flow at least 6 feet from the foundation walls. To help keep water out your foundations, clear the space around the downspouts by pushing snow, dirt or debris as far away as possible.
If you are able to renovate your basement, make sure to choose waterproof building materials. Opt for ceramic, linoleum, or vinyl flooring. Avoid carpeting at all costs. If there’s any water damage, the latter will be at a total loss.
Although you’re probably already aware, water and electricity do not mix well. For this reason, you must cut off your home’s power supply as soon as you know there’s the possibility of a flood. If water has already leaked into the fuse box, take the measures below.
Do you see water on the floor near your fuse box or electric panel? Grab a dry piece of wood, board or other material you can place down over the wet area. Then, use a wood stick to turn off the switch. After that, if you have one, do make sure to anchor your house’s oil tank to the ground. If there’s a considerable amount of water, it could potentially tip your tank and cause the fuel to leak, so be careful. Also worth noting is that filer pipes and vents must be above water level. If you have propane in your home, ask your supplier for instructions.
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