Flood Preparedness: What Can You Do Around Your Home?
In the event of a flood, your home and belongings can be subjected to various forms and levels of damage, and in many cases, homeowners are left with no choice but to consider their property a total loss. Here are some precautionary steps you can take to better protect yourself and your home against flood damage.
Inspect and Seal Your Foundation
Floodwater can invariably penetrate homes through their foundations, and in extreme cases even uproot them by fragmenting and shifting the materials used to hold them together. Inspect your home’s foundation carefully, and apply mortar and masonry caulk or hydraulic cement to any cracks that have formed. This is a more effective solution than simply using mortar or cement, as it won’t crack again and works to expand and fill openings efficiently.
Install Sewer or Septic Line Check Valves
Many homes subjected to a flood are considered a loss due to health reasons stemming from sewage backing up into standing water inside. Combat this by installing check valves, which ensure that waste can only exit and never reenter your home. Try to have them installed at a point in the piping where it’s easiest to access for repairs. You can install them on your own, but it’s less likely that something will go wrong if you entrust the skilled services of a professional.
Get a Battery-Powered Sump Pump
This is an absolute must if you want to adequately protect your home — it’s just as crucial as laying down sandbags. The strongest defence against flooding, sump pumps force water out of your home without relying on dangerous electrical currents running off a community grid (which may be shut down in the event of a flood anyway). This will enable you to continually pump water out thanks to being battery powered, and it is a relatively inexpensive way of protecting yourself against massive and generally uninsurable property damage.
Protect Expensive Items and Assemble a Flood Kit
Expensive items and valuables should be relocated to the top floor of your home or transported to a friend or relative’s property that is out of harm’s way. Items such as photographs, musical instruments, electronics, and important documents should be treated with utmost care and placed as far away from the ground floor of your home as possible. Additionally, make sure you take the time to assemble a flood kit for your household, containing bottled water, non-perishable food, a complete medical kit, waterproof flashlights, spare dry clothes, and other necessities. Also be sure to have your smartphone charged, and perhaps invest in an external rechargeable battery. Plan and rehearse an escape route, and have emergency contact numbers pre-set on your phone for single-touch calls.
A flood doesn’t mean a total disaster if you adequately prepare and plan for it. Investing in protective features and equipment, properly maintaining your home, and ensuring the protection of your loved ones and valuables will make it a more bearable and less damaging experience. If you require assistance with preparing for flooding, don’t hesitate to contact To Do-Done for a free estimate and to request our expert handyman services.