Many homeowners don’t realize it, but regardless of where their home is located on FEMA flood maps, they actually live in a flood zone—at least to some extent, since flooding occurs in every single state in the U.S. Some areas are just more prone to more severe flooding than other areas, and that’s where the FEMA flood map comes into play.
As a homeowner, you would do well to take preventative steps to protect your property in the event that flooding occurs in your local area. You should definitely take a look at a FEMA map and determine the threat level of your particular area so that you can tailor a risk management plan to address your individual needs.
Below you will learn some basic steps—big and small—that you can take to minimize the risk of flood damage to your property.
Basic Steps for Flood Protection
Whether you live in a low- or high-risk flood area, you can take a few simple steps to minimize the possibility of flood damage to your property in the future.
For instance, you can begin by keeping your gutters free and clear of any kind of debris, such as leaves, twigs, and pine needles. If you keep the gutters clean, you can help ensure that water continues to flow freely and that the gutters don’t backup, causing more flooding around the home’s foundation.
You should also elevate or relocate your utilities to a higher floor within the home to reduce the risk of water getting to them and causing water damage. In other words, your water heater, furnace, electrical panel, and any other important equipment should be placed on pedestals, if possible. If your property has a fuel tank outdoors that you simply cannot elevate or relocate, consider anchoring the tank to a concrete slab so it can withstand a flood.
Install a properly functioning sump pump in the basement, along with a battery backup, which ensures that the system will continue to work even in the event of a power failure in the area. Patch any cracks in the foundation and apply a waterproofing sealer to the walls in the basement to reduce the risk of foundation damage and basement flooding.
Major Steps for Flood Protection
If you live in more of a high-risk area, consider taking more substantial steps in protecting your property. If you are having a home built, consider elevating your home above potential flood levels. However, take note that this isn’t always a feasible method. Luckily, you have other steps to take.
For instance, consider wet flood proofing your property. To do this, install openings in the basement or crawlspace of the home so floodwaters are able to come and go with ease. Creating these openings in the home can help minimize the pressure that sometimes result in the walls caving in.
Another option is to dry flood proof the home. To do this, a waterproof coating needs to be added to the property’s exterior walls to keep floodwater from coming through. Perhaps you should purchase waterproof shields to cover doorways, windows, and other openings.
Additionally, you can build barriers like floodwalls around the property to help control or contain floodwaters. A watertight concrete or brick floodwall can be used around the entire home or in certain areas like a stairwell.
While the aforementioned measures can help a homeowner reduce potential flood damage to their property, these steps simply are unable to eliminate all possible risk associated with floods. As a result, you need to consider purchasing flood insurance. To learn more, contact the insurance agents at Metropolitan Insurance.