As a homeowner, the responsibility to protect your home falls on you. However, we are not born knowing everything. Learning how to prevent flood damage from heavy storms, though, is among the most important lessons you can take the time to learn.
Like the many sounds of plumbing you shouldn’t ignore, preparing for adverse weather is essential for you to understand. We’ll walk you through the most critical areas, so you can be confident you are ready when the storm comes.
Start at the top
Your roof protects your home from water damage, but it can’t do its job if you don’t maintain it. Check for loose or missing shingles, gaps or cracking around vents or chimneys, and any other damage.
Locate and remove potential projectiles
Yard decorations, lawn chairs, and picnic tables all have one thing in common. They will all fly if the wind blows hard enough. Anything that heavy storm gusts will lift and throw at your house should be removed or fastened down securely. While a lawn chair may look harmless, it won’t be if it goes through a window.
Trees, fences, and landscaping
Believe it or not, loose fence posts are as much of a hazard as your picnic table in gale-force winds. Your trees should be well-trimmed and healthy to avoid them ending up inside your house instead of the yard. Make sure that your yard slopes away from your foundation, as well, to help keep water flowing away.
Check your siding to make sure none is loose
Now on to your walls, check first that your siding is well attached and no chunks are missing or damaged. Like your roof, it isn’t adequate to protect your home unless you keep it up and well maintained.
Move on to windows and doors
While checking your siding, make sure that you also check every door and window to assure that they are sealing properly. Water leaking into your window frames could cause rot, mold, and mildew inside your walls. You may not even know it’s getting wet, but it can still damage your home.
Sump Pumps, generators, and sandbags – Oh My
If you have a sump pump, make sure that it is in proper working order. Then, check that the drain hose is clear of any obstruction and there is nothing in the sump hole that could clog the intake. Sump drainage hoses should end as far away from your foundation or crawlspace as possible.
Keep a generator on hand to run your sump pump in case of a power outage. If you do not have a sump pump, generators come in handy for running fans after a storm to dry areas that became wet.
Previous to heavy storms, you may also want to put sandbags around the low-lying areas of your property or around your foundation to keep water out.
An ounce of prevention, but no real cure
Preparing for a heavy storm is your best bet for protecting your home from flood damage, but sometimes there is nothing any homeowner can do to keep the water out. That said, if you follow these steps, you have given yourself the best chance at avoiding storm damage.
For further information, the CDC also has information on preparing for hurricanes beyond just preparing for floodwaters.
If you find yourself needing to call in a professional plumber, call Benjamin Franklin Plumbing for an appointment, we’re the punctual plumber.