7 Ways to Prevent Flood Damage in Your Home

Home Maintenance / Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

With the rainy transition into spring, flooding and water damage becomes an increased risk to your home. Worst case scenarios often happen when you least expect it and can bring about heavy losses and costs. If you live in a particularly rainy area, such as homes in Hamilton MLS, save yourself the trouble by preparing your home for wet weather ahead of time. 

Here are some tips on how you can best prepare your home against floods:

Clean rain gutters at least once a year

Perhaps the simplest precaution to take to avoid overflowing water from entering your property is to regularly clean your rain gutters. Your rain gutters serve to drain and carry water away from your home. The least you can do is to check (at least once a year), scoop out any debris and hose it down. 

Even out the ground around your home

If your home sits on uneven ground, you may want to look into getting your yard graded so that water won’t pool at your doorsteps when it does rain. Keep note of how water flows during a rainstorm and take the precautions so that water is directed away from your home.

Seal basement walls and windows with waterproofing compounds

“Dry-proofing” your home includes applying coatings or water-proof sealants to the walls or floors of your basements and windows to keep out water. This is an extra step you can take to make sure that your home is fully protected against leaks and water damage. Some home maintenance, such as checking for cracks in the foundation, can save you from future disasters.

Store important documents and personal items off the floor

As in most cases of flooding, the basement is likely the most vulnerable when it comes to protection. You’ll want to make sure that important documents and personal items including any photo albums – which are easily damaged by water – are off the ground and shelved away into a cupboard or waterproof boxes. Better yet, find a spot in the upper floors if possible, to keep your valued items. 

Raise your washer, dryer, hot water tank and furnace off the floor

Floods don’t just bring water damage to your home – if not careful, they can also act as an electrical hazard. Never step into a flood if it has touched electrical appliances or outlets, to avoid electrocution. Any anchored indoor equipment such as your washer, dryer, hot water tank and furnace should be elevated and off the floor. Your area will have an expected flood level, which can be your guide to how elevated they need to be. This also applies to switches, sockets and wiring. 

Invest in a sump pump

While not every homeowner has a sump pump installed, it’s a good investment to make, especially if you live in an area prone to flooding. To minimize damage during a flood, the obvious solution is to remove the water as soon as possible. Not everyone has the equipment for this and the longer the water sits, the greater the damage will be. A sump pump is used to remove water typically in the basements of homes. If you have the budget for it, it’s the best solution to quickly draining water.

Get good home insurance

While having home insurance is always a step up, you’ll want to double check what your home insurance covers and what it doesn’t. Make sure that flooding or water damage is included and be aware that certain types of flooding causes are not covered in the standard policy. 

Flood damage also isn’t exclusive to detached homes. If you’re living in properties such as Hamilton condos, some of these tips will still apply – sealing your windows for example. Even if you’re not responsible for leaks, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!

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