10 Tips To Minimize Flood Damage

We don’t get tired of warning about the floods in the USA. There is a prediction that floods will be the environmental calamity that will affect the global population the most in the coming times. One person in 5 is at risk of being hit by a flood at any given time. In this article we will be giving you the best tips on how you can minimize flood damage if you live a high flood risk neighborhood.

These tragedies will happen in many parts of the world, in poor countries and rich countries, as well as in poor neighborhoods and rich neighborhoods in big cities. However, people with lower incomes are at even greater risk, as they live in less prepared houses and have fewer resources to start over.

Be careful, as floods, in addition to being very dangerous for you, can also destroy all the heritage you’ve built. For this reason, we are going to give you 10 tips to prepare your home and minimize flood damage.

10 Tips To Minimize Flood Damage

1. Discover your flood plan and flood risk

As we always say, information is the key. FEMA mapped the country based on the flood risks of each region. While this mapping is not completely up to date, this is a tool that can help you understand your risks.

The Agency has created a lettered rating that defines where the risk is low, where it is moderate and where it is high. Based on your area designation, you can find out what your region’s BFE is, which for practical purposes means how high the water is likely to rise in the event of a major flood.

However, it is important to be aware, many of the maps are outdated and some regions at risk are not registered yet. Find out in your neighborhood to better understand the reality of your street.

2. If possible, transfer what is sensitive to water above the BFE

Understanding the BFE of your home, time to protect your assets. If you find that the BFE in your area is higher than any floor in your house, avoid leaving anything sensitive to water there.

If possible, move electronics and other items to a higher floor or on top of countertops, bookshelves, or shelves. Sockets and switches can and should also be transferred, ideally they are at least 30 cm above the flood level.

3. Elevate your home

An expensive but very effective solution is to do a work to elevate your house . There are varied techniques, from lifting using pillars, which are not affordable for many people. However, if you install water outlets on the lower floors, allowing water to flow freely, in AND out, or you can seal the walls to prevent water from getting in and causing more serious damage.

New buildings in communities participating in the National Federal Insurance Program are being constructed already meeting these specifications based on their flood risk.

  • Update your valves

One terrible effect of flooding is when the plumbing system becomes overloaded and sewage backflows into your home. That is, even if your home is unharmed from external flooding, it can cause damage and dirt that you don’t want to deal with.

To prevent this, have a plumber install a backflow or gate valve in every sewer pipe connected to your home. These valves are designed to keep water flowing in the right direction – out. Check with your local building department for permit requirements.

4. Keep up to date with house maintenance

Having a house comes with a responsibility, keeping it in good working order to avoid further damage and to make it pleasant to live there, right? Leaks, leaks, cracked windows, all this devalues ​​the property, disrupts your life and leaves you more exposed to (sometimes) unnecessary risks.

Flood Zones 101 – understand how it works

To minimize the chances of water damage (in any weather), be sure to perform essential maintenance tasks in and around your property:

  • Clean your gutters. Make sure they are securely attached to your roof.
  • Check your rain jets. Make sure they are positioned so that the water drains away from your home and your neighbors’ homes.
  • Repair any roof damage immediately. This prevents further damage and even helps keep your home insurance rates lower. If it’s an older building, consider an exchange when financial conditions allow.
  • Repair sidewalks and driveways. Make sure these structures aren’t creating a water channel leading into your home.
  • Check and seal openings and cracks in the foundation.
  • Check low doors and windows, especially those in the basement.
  • If you have old windows, consider installing new ones, which come with a more efficient seal.

Even if you don’t own the house, if you are a renter, you can make a deal with your landlord so that his property is protected while you and your possessions are too.

5. Have a sump pump and test it regularly

Sump pump is a pump that removes water that accumulates in an area below ground level in the house, such as a basement. Knowing that the faster you get rid of water, the less damage you can incur, this can be a very worthwhile investment.

The speed of action can help prevent the growth of mold and mildew, consequences that can be costly. So the pump investment, which may seem high initially, will likely pay off in emergency situations.

If you already have a sump pump, always keep it in good working order to ensure it will be there for you when you need it.

6. Turn off electricity when flooding is likely

Water and electricity is a very dangerous combination for your family, so before the flood even reaches your door, eliminate the danger and turn off all electricity in the house.

Water is a powerful conductor of electricity and the current generated can, in addition to damaging objects, seriously injure people.

If you are caught off guard and spot the flooding before you have a chance to turn off the power, don’t walk through the flooded areas, call your power supplier and ask them to cut the power as soon as possible.

7. Use landscaping to your advantage

If you have a yard or garden, you probably already know which areas accumulate water more easily. Using landscaping methods, you can slope your land so that water flows away from your home to avoid flood damage. Make sure the diversion does not direct the runoff to a neighbor’s house.

8. Contact the authorities

If you’ve noticed standing water on the sidewalks or streets around your home, even after small storms, you and your neighbors may be at greater risk of flooding.

Contact the authorities in your neighborhood, your municipality or your state and request measures to improve drainage near you. This attitude can save the community and even the municipality from several future losses.

9. Look for physical barriers against flooding

Consider installing flood barriers on windows and doors and, if possible, have sandbags on hand. All the worries about flood damage to the inside of the house can be minimized if you make it difficult for water to pass from the entrance.

If you are in a high risk  flood zone , try to create as many barriers as you can.

10. Review your insurance

Standard home insurance policies don’t cover flood damage, so it’s important to be aware of the type of coverage you have. In some cases, you may be able to include flood insurance in your original policy, in others you will need to purchase it separately.

Therefore, review all coverage and ensure that your home is protected from all risks relevant to your reality.

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