Tips For Preventing Flood Damage in Your Home
For most of the U.S., April showers might bring May flowers, but here in Maine April can also bring along some additional, unwanted friends. If you’ve lived in the Belfast, Camden or Rockland areas for any length of time, then you know that in April, the weather can be a bit dicey to say the least.
We all hope that old man winter has let go (although not usually) and we all hope that we get mild temps, a decent mud season and not too many black flies.
However, with all of that, we also have the melting ice causing local rivers and streams to overflow their banks, putting our homes in potential danger. Not to mention, if you didn’t keep up with all that snow and ice buildup on your roof during the winter, you may have to contend with ice dams forming on the gutters of your house.
You may be thinking that Spring sounds horrible in Maine… we all know, nothing is further from the truth.
However, if you are not prepared for the twists that Springtime can bring, it can be a nuisance at least and potentially a dangerous situation for your home. If any of that water from the rain or melting snow and ice makes it into your home it can warp floorboards, create havens for mold in your walls and can damage any number of your belongings.
So, a little prevention can save you a lot of headaches… oh yea, and a lot of money…
Read on for some tips on how to prevent that damage before it happens.
1. Check Your Homes Foundation
The most common way that water will enter your home during a heavy rainstorm is through your foundation. If it is old and cracked water that has soaked into the ground will follow the path of least resistance right into your home.
Seal any foundation cracks you find with waterproofing compounds. If you have a basement that is particularly prone to flooding you may even want to install floor drains.
2. Divert Water Flow Away From Your Home
Start by adding directional piping at the base of your gutter drains. This one small, moderately priced addition to the exterior of your home can save you future money and damage to your home.
Once you’ve done this, depending on the landscaping near your house, you may notice water pooling in areas you don’t want it to be. Although this may take a significant amount of landscaping effort, providing the water with a more appropriate place to accumulate will make a big difference once the first of the Spring storms rolls in.
Observe where the water tends to flow during small rainstorms to determine where it naturally wants to go. If it is collecting by the sides of your home then it may be time to grade your lawn so that the water flows towards a drain or some other collection reservoir and not towards your foundation.
3. Replace Water Valves
When water levels rise it’s important to remember that some of the systems meant to move water away from your home may become backed up and do exactly the opposite. You may want to install back-flow valves on all pipes leading to you house, especially those leading into a sewer system that is at risk of flooding. Consider installing drain plugs as well, particularly in the basement which will likely be effected first.
The only thing worse than a flooded home is a home flooded with sewage. Should this unfortunate circumstance happen, SERVPRO of Belfast/Camden/Rockland has professionals who are trained and armed with the proper equipment to get this hazard cleaned quickly and efficiently.
4. Install a Sump Pump
A sump pump is generally a small investment which can produce a large ROI during its first use. The job of this electrical pump is to move the accumulating water towards your nearest storm drain.
Sump pumps do not run constantly so they are not a huge drain on your electric. They generally use a mechanism that switches them on once the water has reached a pre-determined level in the reservoir.
If you already have a sump pump then it is good practice to check it periodically to ensure its working properly and it hasn’t gotten clogged. Finally, consider a backup power source in case you lose electricity during a storm.
5. Keep Sandbags or Flood Barriers On Hand
If you live need a river or creek prone to overflowing, doing this one think can save your home from immense damage. In a flooding emergency, having sandbags or some other type of flood barrier on hand is key.
While this one measure may not be enough to completely keep all the water from getting to your home, diverting the majority of the water may be just enough to lessen the impact.
We hope you never have to experience the effects of flooding. But if the unexpected does happen, let your local professionals at SERVPRO of Belfast/Camden/Rockland help you.
You can reach us 24/7 at 207-338-1850.