One BBC report said more than 5.5 million properties are at risk of flooding. And the risk is greatest in the stormy winter season. Here are a few tips for those who want to know how to protect your home from flooding.
And no, we’re not just going to tell you to get flood insurance.
Know Your Risk Factors
You can’t do much about the location of your property, but you can be aware of risk factors. You may want to have a drainage survey done of a property you want to buy or an existing property you own. How will water drain in a heavy rain storm? Where will water and waste water go if the soils are waterlogged? You may want to level out your yard or fix drainage patterns before the next storm hits. Don’t forget to have an assessment of any septic tanks and wastewater drainage. You don’t want to have the double whammy of rainwater and wastewater flooding into your home. Nor do you want to be stuck with a septic system that doesn’t work because it is flooded.
Seal Things Up
One of the simplest flood protection ideas is to seal things up. Floodwater can come into the home through gaps in the home. It may flood through doors and windows, but it tends to come through gaps in the floor and walls. In fact, drain pipes are a common way water enters the home. That’s one reason why we brought up a drainage survey and inspection of sewage systems. Look for gaps that could cause water to enter your home such as gaps under doors or holes in the wall. Then seal them. Know how to prevent flow reversal in drainpipes. This may require hiring a plumber to put flow reversal valves on toilets, sinks, washing machines and sewer lines. However, this prevents dirty water or flood water from coming up through your plumbing system.
Limit the Damage Flooding Can Cause
You can’t prevent every flood, but you can minimize the harm it causes. Raise the level of electrical sockets and wiring over 1.5 meters so that flood water doesn’t ruin the electrical system, too. The same should be true for any and all electronics. Put in tile or concrete floors. Put sensitive and valuable items on high shelves.
Protect Yourself against Mundane Sources of Water Damage
While we’re afraid of an overflowing Thames or the theoretical rise of sea levels, the greater threat to our properties are the everyday threats. Fortunately, these are the easiest to address. You can get sensors that shut off your water when it senses a leak. Then the water to the house or a leg of the plumbing is shut off if the washing machine or dish washer is overflowing. Install a drainage system for the hot water heater so that water drains harmlessly into the garden instead of flooding your home. There should be a shut off valve there, too, so that it can’t flood your home as it tries to refill. Have an automatic switch for turning off the pool pump or sprinklers if they’re running too long. And know where the shut-off switches or knobs are for your water supply.