Swimming pools are great, but it’s best if they stay outside. Home flooding is a serious problem in damp, rainy areas like Central Florida. With the hurricanes and wet weather, moisture can easily infiltrate your home, ruining your possessions and possibly causing severe structural damage to your home.
Home flooding can be expensive, costing between $7,800 and $18,930 for water mitigation and repairs on average. To protect your things, your home, and your wallet, here are some tips to prevent home flooding.
Grade Your Lawn
You don’t have to be a physicist to know that water flows downhill. If your house sits at the bottom of a slope, you’re at risk for flooding.
Ideally, you want your house to sit at the top of a hill—no matter how small—so water will run away from your house instead of toward it. Of course, that’s easier said than done. Regrading your lawn can be quite a task and might not even be possible. Luckily, you can use a few landscaping tricks to redirect or stop the flow of water:
- Dig a drainage trench to divert water
- Build a retaining wall
- Install a rain garden
- Use heavy mulch
The more you can do to stop water from reaching the foundation of your house, the less you’ll have to spend on water mitigation after a flood.
Keep Gutters and Downspouts Clean
Nobody likes to climb on the roof and dig their hands into a years-worth of leaves, sticks, and mud, but it can protect your house from flooding. Your gutters and downspouts take water from your roof and take it safely away from the foundation of your house.
If your gutters and downspouts are clogged, water will build up and overflow. And what’s directly beneath your gutters? The side of your house! Keeping your gutters and downspouts clear will allow rainwater to run off your roof and be safely redirected away from your home.
Extend Your Downspouts
Just because your gutters and downspouts are clear doesn’t mean they’re going to be effective. Make sure all your downspouts are pointed away from the house and long enough to get the water far away from the foundation. If your downspouts extend only three inches and your house is at the bottom of a grade, the water from your spouts is just going to run back toward the house, increasing the risk of flooding.
Extend your downspouts to make sure water is drained far enough away from your home and on a downward grade so it won’t cause a problem.
Install Flood Vents
Flood waters aren’t only dangerous because of water damage. They can also cause massive structural damage to your home. Flowing water is powerful, and if it runs up against your home, it could put intense pressure on the bottom layers of your house. If the pressure is allowed to build, it could cause structural damage.
Install flood vents at the bottom levels of your house to let water pass through and relieve some of that pressure. Not only will they alleviate any pressure buildup from flowing water, but they’ll also prevent water from pooling and getting high enough to get in your home.
Use Water-Resistant Coatings and Sealants
Dry floodproofing is the practice of using water-resistant coatings and sealants on the outside of your home to repel floodwaters and prevent water from entering your home. Many dry floodproofed homes also have watertight membranes behind the siding to protect the structure from water damage.
These coatings can wear off over time, so it’s important to keep up with regular maintenance to ensure you’re ready if a flood comes. While it does require some maintenance, dry floodproofing one of the less expensive options to protect your house against flooding.
Prepare for Weather Conditions
Living in Central Florida, rainy weather can range from a slight drizzle to a raging category five hurricane. Having clear rain spouts and drainage trenches isn’t going to do much against a torrential downpour. If you know a big storm is coming, be prepared.
Use sandbags, hay bales, concrete, and plastic sheeting—either individually or together—to prevent flooding from serious storms. These temporary flood prevention measures do require some time and effort to get in place, so make sure you start implementing them before the rain starts falling.
For stronger storms, make sure you have a water mitigation service ready. The faster you can get a professional to start cleaning up flood waters inside your home, the less damage you’ll experience.
Be Ready for Flooding
Even with all the precautions in place, there’s no guarantee your home still won’t flood during heavy rain. That’s why it’s always best to be prepared for the worst.
Check your homeowner’s insurance policy for flood coverage. If it’s not covered, it’s a good idea to add it. Even if your house isn’t typically prone to flooding, living in Florida, you never know what the weather might bring. Water mitigation and repairs can be expensive, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
If your house does flood, you’ll also need to know who to contact to clean up the mess. A restoration service like CFRS, can remove the standing water and restore your home to its former glory. Once they’re done, you won’t even know a flood came through. If your insurance includes flood damage, most—if not all—of the cost for water mitigation and water damage restoration will be covered.
There’s no way to completely prevent home flooding, but if you take all necessary precautions and have a backup plan in place, you won’t have to worry the next time rain is in the forecast.