If you’ve ever suffered flooding in your home, you know what a huge problem it can be. While a major flood can be catastrophic, even a small amount of water in your basement can cause major issues that affect the comfort and safety of your family as well as the value of your home. While there are some steps to take to protect your home from flooding, once flooding occurs, it’s important to act quickly to limit damage and avoid further problems down the road.
While planning for a major flood due to a storm or river overflow is difficult, you can take some small precautions to ensure your home is protected against small to mild rain and flooding conditions:
- Keep your rain gutters and downspouts clear of leaves and debris.
- Ensure your downspouts direct water away from your basement or foundation.
- Be certain the ground slopes away from your home.
- Watch for small leaks in your roof, windows, doors and foundation and fix them promptly.
- In winter, remove snow from your roof and avoid ice and snow buildup around drains.
- Verify that your sump pumps are working properly and come on automatically.
- Consider installing a standby power generator for your sump pump.
During most rainstorms, the drainage of your home and property can deal with the volume of rain. When the rain is extremely hard and lasts for a long time, however, flooding lakes, rivers, ditches and sewer systems can cause water levels to rise. When this happens, it’s only a matter of time before water starts to flood your home. Sandbagging and trenching can help in some cases, but if water finally does start getting into your home or basement, you need to know what to do.
Flooding can also occur if a water pipe or line to a washing machine, dishwasher or fridge breaks. When this occurs, turn off your main water supply to stop the water flow. If you catch this kind of leak when it happens, the damage is often limited. Burst pipes may occur when you’re away from home, though, meaning significant amounts of water can accumulate.
Act Fast to Avoid Further Damage
Safety is key when your home floods. Your first question will be “What do I do if I get water in my basement?” Even a small amount of water in your home can create an electrocution hazard. At the first sign that water is entering your home, cut the power to all low-lying power outlets. Unplug all machines and equipment — including freezers, heaters, lamps and power tools — and move them to a higher location. Put large appliances in your basement — washers, dryers, freezers, etc. — up on blocks to keep them out of the rising water.
If water has entered your home quickly or while you’re asleep or away from home, it may be necessary to contact your local utility company to cut the power to your home. Touching electrical devices or your electrical panel with your feet in water can cause electrocution. If you have an electric sump pump, it is important that it stays plugged in, which is when a backup generator can be a big help. Remember to shut off the gas or have your gas company do it for you if your home is heated by natural gas.
A backup generator can also be used to power additional pumps, water vacuums and lights. Remove water as fast as you can, and that way, it doesn’t have time to destroy carpets, flooring and drywall. Document as you go, taking pictures of the flooding level and damage. You should also contact your insurance company as soon as possible — they will likely send out an adjustor to inspect your property and assess the cost of the damage.
Once the bulk of the water is removed, install fans to move air and dry your basement and belongings out. At this point, you’ll want to contact a qualified flood restoration expert to determine what steps are necessary to repair your home from the flood damage.
Equip Yourself Before the Flooding Occurs
If your home floods because of a storm or general flooding in your town or area, there’s a good chance you’re not the only homeowner or business affected. Finding and purchasing a sump pump or backup generator after a flood can be difficult or even impossible. Plan ahead by equipping your home or other building with a sump pump to remove water as it enters your basement. In many cases, this is enough to avoid damage to your property. Additionally, a working sump pump is helpful all year round to remove small amounts of water as they enter your basement, not just in the case of a flood.
A backup generator is also a useful piece of equipment to have. Automatic standby units are ready to take over the moment the power goes out and are especially popular for businesses and commercial properties with valuable equipment. You can also purchase a portable unit as a short term solution to power your sump pump, vacuum, fans, lights or other flood response equipment. If you do use a portable generator make sure to keep it outside to avoid dangerous CO build ups in your home or garage.
Check out our site to discover all of our equipment necessary to protect your home against a flood. We have a wide range of quality sump pumps available to keep your basement dry year-round and ensure peace of mind in case of a flood or water leak.