It’s almost that time of year again. Yep. Hurricane season.
And you know what that means? Flash floods and heavy rain. All of your sentimental keepsakes and valuables could be washed away in the blink of an eye.
Essential Flood Prevention Tips All Homeowners Should Know
Here’s the good news: preventing flood waters from invading your home is easy. Keep reading for a few simple tips on the prevention of floods in your home.
Know the Flood Zones
First, knowledge is power.
Knowing what different flood zones mean could give you enough heads up to protect your home before the disaster hits.
Here are a few of the most common zone types:
Areas labeled with the letter D are undetermined risk areas. This zone is the safest of the flood zones.
In other words, it doesn’t flood often enough for FEMA to have accurate data on the area. While this should lessen your worries, you should always take flood preparation steps in all flood zones.
B and X Zones
They rack up a 0.2% chance of flooding annually. Instead of every 100 years, b zones flood at least every 500 years.
A zones mean that your area has a 1% chance of flooding annually. While 1% doesn’t sound scary, it is considered a flood zone for a reason. FEMA suggests that your area will undergo a bad flood at least once every 100 years.
These are the most flood-prone zones. You can expect regular flooding in these zones.
You’ll find v zones in areas near lakes, rivers, or in areas that are oceanfront. If you’ve chosen to live in this zone, be sure to lift your house off ground level and purchase flood insurance.
For a more in-depth look at flood zone classifications, check out this flood map reference guide.
Raise Your Home on Stilts
We mentioned earlier that you should always raise your home off of ground level if you’re in a v zone.
It’s best to raise your home on stilts as it’s being built, or purchase a home that already has these installed.
If you’ve already built your home, raising it after the fact can get pricey. But consider this, just an inch of water can cause roughly $25,000 in damage. Typically, if you’re in this zone, you’re looking at several feet of flood waters.
Apply Extra Coatings and Sealants
Have you ever experienced a leak in your bathtub, dishwasher, or even your car window? The likely culprit is damaged or missing sealants or caulking.
It’s the same idea with your home. It’s important to seal up all the cracks and crevices.
Sealants range from relatively cheap to morbidly overpriced. The best bet is to look for something mid-range in price. You’ll find these sealants at most local retailers.
Grade Your Lawn
Be sure to grade your yard towards the road.
Make sure your home isn’t sitting in a hole or downward slope. If water runs towards your home it can start to pool up and seep inside.
Adjust the slope of the land around your home so that it directs water away from your foundation and towards the proper drainage areas.
Raise Your Outlets and Electrical Switches
Electrical damage is undoubtedly one of the most expensive damages that can occur during a flood. The price? It could be your life.
Water is an excellent conductor of electricity, so if you, your kids, or your dog happen to be standing in the flood waters, just a small amount of electricity can travel across the house and straight into you.
As a rule of thumb, always keep electronics and electrical switches at least one foot off of the ground. Keep your flood zone in mind when deciding how high to raise your electronics.
Keep Expensive or Sentimental Items on High Ground
You can do your best to prevent floods, but some natural disasters are just that: disasters. If we could prevent them all, they wouldn’t be disasters. This means protecting the things you love with as much caution as possible.
Be sure to keep valuable and meaningful items on higher ground and above any flood prone areas.
Consider an Insurance Policy
Again, not all disasters are preventable. These tips will help you steer away from a small flood, but if the media is talking about 10 ft flash floods, no amount of caulking will protect your home.
For this reason, we recommend looking into getting a flood insurance policy on your home.
Did you know a regular homeowners insurance policy doesn’t cover flooding? Contact your local insurance company to learn more about adding flood insurance to your home.
Prevention of Floods Can Be Easy Peasy
Know the zones? Check. Extra coatings? Check. Proper grading? Check.
Boom. What did we tell you?
Prevention of floods = E-A-S-Y P-E-A-S-Y.
Your home will be safe and dry this hurricane season.
PRO TIP: Did you know that your home isn’t the only thing to protect during a natural disaster? If you’ve been through a natural disaster already, your health could be at risk. Check out this article for a few tips!