Flood water can cause massive damage to your home. The good news? There are preventative measures you can take. Here's how to build a flood-proof house.
We've just made it to the other side of hurricane season this year, but that doesn't mean the thought of a flooded home as totally left one's mind. As we look over the damage that this year's storms left, it's easy to think of our own homes and what we would do in that situation. Flooding is, unfortunately, one of the most common disasters to strike many American homes. It is also one of the most expensive. A true flood can destroy a person's home, their belongings, and their overall well-being.
That's why creating a flood-proof house can be key to a safe and stable future. If you live anywhere that has even a mild chance of flooding, you should be taking steps to ensure the safety of your home and family. Read on, and we'll walk you through everything you need to know.
Starting Outside Your Home
The key to a safe environment inside the walls of your home actually starts by doing some work outside. Think of all the important (and often electrical) equipment that sits in your yard. Air conditioner units, fuel tanks, and electronic generators can all easily be damaged or swept away by a flood.
They can even create a dangerous and potentially fatal environment for you and your family. The first step you can take in floodproofing your home is to elevate these items above ground level. How high they need to go will depend on the level of flood risk your home possesses. Many beachside homes, for example, will place the air conditioner unit on a platform off the second floor of the home. No matter where you put them, the key is that they do not remain on the ground. In the case of a flood, stormwater will instantly make them totally useless.
Do The Same Inside Your Home
The same methodology should be considered for anything electronic inside of your home. If circuit breakers, sockets, switches, or any other aspect of electrical systems are too close to the ground, they could become a real danger. It's a good idea to get an estimate of how high floodwater might go in your home so that you can properly move these elements higher.
Any indoor water heaters or furnaces will need to be anchored and elevated as well. Keeping these out of the way of potential floodwater can ensure your home environment is safe even in the case of an emergency. Making these changes can help keep damages low and improve your standing when you need to make a water damage claim.
Consider Water Flow & Your Property
A big contributor to flooding is the way water flows in your neighborhood and around your property. If water flows away from your home (hopefully to storm drains and the like) then that is good. If, however, water flows directly towards your home, it can create the perfect environment for a flooding situation.
This is easy to determine without having to wait for the storm of the century to come by. Next time it rains, observe the way water flows around your property. Does it collect and move away from your house, or towards it?
If the answer is towards, you might need to take some preventive actions to avoid flooding in the future. If your street or property is prone to having large amounts of standing water, you might want to reach out to your county planning service. They might be able to advise you on steps to take or send out a professional to help your neighborhood.
Floodproof Your Gardens
You probably put a lot of time and work into the plant life and foliage around your home. Unfortunately, it's these areas that often contribute to flooding that can happen indoors. One of the best flooding prevention steps you can take is to make space between the mulch in garden areas and the siding of your home. When mulch gets very wet, it can begin to rot away at your home's siding. It's this kind of rot that helps create leaks. Wet mulch can be directly responsible for damaging your home and allowing floodwater to seep in. Leaving space between your mulch and your siding can help keep your home dry and safe during big rainstorms.
Severe Measures: Bringing In Stilts
If your home has a very high risk of being flooded, you might need to take more extreme measures. This might include raising your entire home from ground level and putting it on stilts. This is quite expensive to conduct retroactively. But if you're building a new home from scratch, this is one of the best flood prevention techniques you can employ. Raising your entire home up will obviously also raise the flood level. Water will need to get much higher before it can begin to impact your home and belongings. Even a small amount of floodwater damage can be very costly. So even if elevating your home seems expensive at first, it might save you loads of money in the long-term. You can then dry-coat the bottom of your home to avoid water damage from occurring.
Floods can be hugely damaging, both physically and financially, for a homeowner. Creating a flood-proof home is one of the best preventive measures you can take, and the above tips and tricks can teach you how to approach the process. Need more advice for safeguarding your house against disaster? Check out our homeowner's page for more advice.