Table of Contents
- Protect Your Home 101: Understand Your Risk Level
- Home Protection: The Flooding Edition
Did you know that according to FEMA even one inch of water may cause $25,000 worth of damage?
Homeowners often make the mistake of assuming that just because their insurance coverage covers water damage, it also covers flooding.
This, however, is a falsehood. If a flood damages your house, you’ll need a separate flood insurance policy to cover the cost of repairs and rebuilding. This is because homeowners insurance normally excludes floods. Thankfully, there are many steps you can take to better protect your home.
Keep on reading for our full breakdown of how to protect your home in the case of flooding.
Protect Your Home 101: Understand Your Risk Level
Flooding is a problem in many parts of the country. Population centers near water, dams, and mountains are especially vulnerable. Identifying your degree of danger will allow you to determine the safety precautions you should take to protect yourself and your house.
Using FEMA’s flood map tool, you can evaluate the danger of flooding in your area. The probability of flooding in certain areas is indicated by using color codes on the maps.
Flooding is most likely to occur in regions designated as “blue” or “red with blue stripes” on the map. Flooding in high-risk locations is more than one percent of the time, according to FEMA.
At least one major flood will occur in the lifespan of those who reside there. Floods of 1.5 to 3 feet are possible in blue zones. There are, however, certain regions where wavelengths of 3 feet or more are present.
Flooding is a medium to high danger in orange zone locations. Significant floods may occur in these places with depths of less than one foot or drainage areas of less than one square mile. Experts say that even in low-risk areas like orange zones like your neighborhood, you should take precautions to protect yourself and your house.
Of course, you’ll want to augment that risk level with appropriate flood insurance. Go to Better Flood to see the best comprehensive policies currently on the market.
How to Protect Your Home From Flooding
Although certain places are more susceptible to flooding than others, flooding may occur in any area under catastrophic conditions. One of the best ways to prepare for a possible loss is to have your house flood-proofed.
The following are some flood-proofing measures that professionals recommend.
Examine Your Drainage
To keep your home’s foundation safe, the ground surrounding it should be sloped away from it.
Observe your property next time it rains to make sure that water is moving away from your house and not accumulating in any locations. Drainage issues may be addressed with the help of a general contractor.
Backwater valves may also be installed by homeowners as a flood-proofing method to keep flood water out of their residences.
Explore Dry-Proofing Options
Your post-flood damages are likely to be significantly reduced if flood waters are prevented from entering your property.
The goal of dry proofing, also known as dry floodproofing, is to keep floodwaters out of your home. European Union Resilience-Increasing Strategies for Coast (RISC) advocates for the following:
- Raising the thresholds of your doors;
- Adding flood shields to your home openings;
- Improving sealing around your doors and windows.
A dry floodproofing project may be a significant effort. If you don’t have the money or time to floodproof your property totally, you may use wet floodproofing techniques instead.
In order to minimize the negative impacts of a flood, these preventative measures will ensure that water flows out of your home as soon as water levels outside drop.
Utilize Water-Resistant Materials
Homes may be better protected from flooding by using flood-resistant materials. Long-term water exposure has minimal or no effect on the properties of these materials.
Different flood-resistant materials are categorized by FEMA. Your home’s material quality may be determined using this approach.
Elevate Your Appliances and Utilities
Determine the BFE in your location and, if at all feasible, raise all of your appliances and utilities above it. In addition to possibly preventing expensive damage to such features, this may assist keep your property operational after a flood.
If floodwaters rise in your neighborhood, be careful to cut off the electricity in your house immediately to avoid damaging your electrical equipment and causing shocks. After all, water and electricity are a hazardous combination.
Rearrange Your Home
Consider this low-cost alternative if you want to have your property ready for floods but don’t have the funds to make any major alterations.
Adjust your house such that the majority of living space or high-value objects are situated on the higher floors. Move valuables to higher surfaces if you live in a one-story house to help prevent water damage.
Apply Coatings and Sealants
Seal any holes and crevices that might allow water to leak into the foundation of your house.
To prevent water from leaking into your basement, seal the walls using a caulking product.
Work on Preventing Sewage Backups
Drain plugs or sewer backwater valves for all lines entering your house should be installed in the basement floor drain.
Water from toilets, sinks, and other drains cannot enter your house via these devices.
You Should Have a Contractor on File
As soon as possible, you’ll want to get your house back to its pre-flood state in the case of flooding or other damages.
It’s much simpler to begin the procedure if you already have the contact information for a contractor you trust. Having a contractor you’ve worked with in the past is a major advantage when it comes to negotiating with your insurance company.
Home Protection: The Flooding Edition
For some of us, natural disasters are inevitable. However, there are many methods you can implement to protect your home regardless of what comes your way.
We hope that our guide has shed some light on the ways you can do so without breaking the bank (or your spirit). Next, you’ll want to check out our other explainers and tips in our insurance section to help you pick the right policies for your needs.