Tips to Prevent Your Home from Flooding

flood damaged homeYou can’t feel safe in your home if you can’t even live in it because of a recent flood. In the final stretch of rainy season in Florida, it is important to keep your home dry and safe.

From smelly soaked carpet to damaged warped wood floors, your home can quickly become a victim of a storm. Not only are your floors in danger, but your electronics, appliances, furniture, lighting and personal keepsakes are susceptible to water damage. In addition to water damage, mold can set in after a flood. There are many initial home protocols you can follow when it comes to flooding prevention for you home. Keeping your home above the water is one of them. Unless you live at the top of a mountain, this is probably easier said than done. However, the only way towards safety and less water damage is to go upward. While your home can be designed structurally against hurricanes, water can easily cross the threshold if you have not taken the necessary precautions for your home. A general rule to significant water damage is when the water reaches an inch above your floor.

So what can you do to help yourself against water damage?

During rainy season, storms can be severe and so can your water damage. However, there are many ways to keep water damage minimal and possibly non-existent.

  • First and foremost, be in the know about your home. Know your home’s flood level threshold. It is good to also know the direction your water flows on your property to prepare for water flooding into your home or away from it. Also get official reports of flood levels in your area. You should be able to get this information from your insurance agent.

  • For insurance purposes and your own safety, make sure your home is up to code. If you have water damage due to home structure that isn’t up to code, it could cost you more.

  • Additionally, ensure that circuits, wiring, furnace and your water heater are above your property’s flood levels. This also applies to outside fuel tanks, air conditioning units and generators. You may want to consider ensuring that your outside equipment won’t knock over during a storm as well.

  • Install backflow valves into your sewage system so you have no chance of enduring a smelly flood.

  • If you home is prone to frequent flooding, you may want to take more drastic measures. This could include dry proofing your home with wall sealants to prevent water from seeping in. You could also install foundation vents. Foundation vents let water flow through your home instead of collecting inside. If your home is simply not safe to live at during a horrible storm or hurricane, raising your home on stilts may be your only option. This is a costly addition, but it may be necessary.

  • Know when and how to turn off your home’s water supply if water damage has begun, and hire someone to tackle your problem soon after a storm before damage gets worse.

  • It may be good to consider installing water level sensors to keep your home in check for you.

What are ways to prevent your home from molding?

While most concerns deal with heavy rain and hurricanes, often times, small leaks and water damage can be just as concerning. If gone unseen, small leaks and water damage can worsen when the mold sets in. Mold can start growing as soon as 24 hours after a flood. It is important to note your insurance policy when it comes water damage due to home leaks from within. Most insurance policies only cover water damage that were a result of natural causes. Fortunately, most mold cases are caused because there is a lack of home upkeep and attention from a home owner. It is easy to overlook simple steps you can take to keep your home mold free, but here are ways for you to prevent mold.

  • It always helps to reduce indoor humidity with air conditioning units, dehumidifiers and the use of exhaust fans.

  • When cleaning your home, use cleaners that kill mold. A common ingredient is bleach.

  • When painting walls, use paints and primers that fight mold. Ask for a paint with mold inhibitors.

  • Note places in your home that will often get wet or humid such as your basement and bathroom. Make sure that you install tile as carpet collects water.

What should your home maintenance include to stay clear of water damage?

  • Routinely clean out gutters and drains. This is especially true near trees with falling debris.

  • Inspect that pipes, hoses and faucets aren’t cracked or damaged.

  • Check the seals of your bathtubs, showers and sinks for leaks.

  • If you are leaving town, shut off your water supplies to appliances such as your washer and dishwasher.

  • Install emergency pressure release valves in your plumbing that can save you from having an emergency.

  • Make sure your windows and doors are properly sealed.

  • Inspect your roof after a heavy storm.

  • Check that your irrigation system and sprinklers are working properly.

In order to keep your home secure from the outside, you must keep it safe from the inside first.  When it comes to water damage and mold, there can be serious and costly consequences.

To learn how to stay safe when a storm causes a blackout, click here.