10 Ways To Prevent Home Flooding & Water Damage
Prevent Home Flooding & Water Damage
If you're reading this, you're likely aware of the risks of flooding, especially if you live in an area that's prone to it. But even if your home isn't in a flood zone, a sudden storm or burst pipe can cause major damage and lead to a costly clean-up bill. To protect against water damage, it's important to take preventative measures like checking your gutters and windows regularly — and knowing when to call in the experts. Here are 10 steps that every homeowner should take to keep their property safe from flooding:
Check Your Gutters
Gutters are an overlooked part of many home maintenance routines. That's unfortunate, because when your gutters are clogged, damaged or leaking, you're at risk for water damage and other costly problems. A quick glance around the exterior of your home can tell you if there is any damage to the gutters that needs repair before winter hits.
Gutter guards can help keep leaves out of your gutter system and prevent clogs from forming. The best way to deal with them is by calling a professional who has experience working with this type of installation so they know where to place guards that will give you full protection during rainy season.
Check Your Windows
Check for cracks in the window frame. If you find any, replace them immediately to prevent water damage and mold growth inside your home.
- Look for condensation on the inside of the window. This might indicate that it's time for a change of season or that there's a leak somewhere nearby — and if it's not just condensation, it could indicate a problem with the sealant around your windowsills or frames that needs to be fixed before too long.
- Inspect each window gasket for leaks around its edges and make sure they're in good condition (if they are old). This will help keep water from entering your home through cracks as well as keep out moisture from inside when it gets cold outside.
- Finally, check for stains on exterior walls near windows; these can indicate leaks onto exterior surfaces which may have occurred years ago but are still visible today!
Install a Sump Pump
You'll want to install a sump pump in the lowest point of your home. This can be in the basement or even an unfinished attic. It should be installed in a dry and accessible location so you can easily access it if it needs repair or maintenance. A sump pump will remove water from your basement, but you may also want to consider installing flood gates or other types of protection against flooding, depending on how much damage flooding has caused in the past and how often it occurs.
Seal Your Foundation
If you don't have a basement, you can still get water damage when it rains. Water enters through any gaps or openings in the foundation and can seep into the walls, causing mold and rot to form. To prevent this from happening, install a waterproofing sealant around window frames, doorways and other openings that are not fully covered by siding or brickwork. A professional will be able to help you determine whether your home has been adequately sealed against water intrusion — and if not how best to remedy the situation.
Seal basement windows with putty tape (also called caulk) after caulking around all door frames inside your house as well as outside window frames where they meet drywall walls (this includes any area where moisture could enter from outside).
Upgrade Old Appliances
- Replace old appliances.
- Check the energy efficiency of your appliances.
- Replace your water heater with a more efficient model.
- Check the efficiency of your refrigerator, dishwasher and washing machine.
Insulate Water Pipes
Water pipes are a common source of water damage in the home, particularly during the winter when they are prone to freeze. To prevent this, you can insulate them. Insulating hot water pipes will reduce your energy consumption and help make your home more comfortable in the winter months. Hot water pipe insulation is very easy to install and can be done in just a few hours. If you have an attic, it's best to add insulation there because this is where most of your water pipes are located.
Protect Against Sewer Backups
Install a backwater valve. If you live in a high-risk area, it’s important that you have a backwater valve installed on your property. It will prevent sewage from backing up into your home if there is heavy rain or flooding in the area, which can lead to water damage and mold growth.
Assess Your Risk for Flooding
Before you do anything else, it's important to assess your risk for flooding. If you live in an area that is at risk for flooding, then it's essential that you familiarize yourself with what may happen and how to prevent it. The best way to protect yourself from flood damage is by knowing the signs of possible water damage and taking preventative measures before any actual damage occurs.
Check Your Local Weather Forecast
The first thing that you should do is check your local weather forecast. If heavy rains are on their way and predicted to occur within 24 hours or less, then this could be an indication that a storm drain system might overflow into your home due to high water levels in the streets. This can be especially problematic if there isn't proper drainage around your home (like gutters).
Elevate Appliances & Furniture
If there's a chance your couch could get wet in an apartment flood, place it on top of some plywood so that its legs don't get submerged. A heavy-duty plastic cushion can protect the fabric from moisture while keeping it elevated above any potential floodwaters on the floor below.
If your rugs or area rugs are susceptible to water damage, move them off-site until they're needed again.
Buy Flood Insurance
Flood insurance is a type of insurance that covers damage to your property due to flooding. It also covers contents that were damaged in the flood and any additional living expenses incurred while repairs are made or if you need to temporarily move out of your home. If a flood occurs and you don't have flood insurance, you will be responsible for paying all costs associated with the cleanup and repairs yourself.
The good news is that many homeowners’ policies do include some coverage for flooding, but it's usually not enough to cover all the damages that can occur from this type of event. To get adequate coverage, you'll need to purchase separate flood insurance through an independent provider such as NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program).
We hope that this post has helped you better understand what you can do to prevent water damage in the home. When it comes to your property, it’s important that you take steps to protect it. And while prevention is always better than cure, if something does happen, don’t panic! We have a team of experts at SERVPRO of Nantahala who can be there within hours with all the equipment needed for any type of emergency — and we promise we won’t leave until everything is back in order again.