What Kind Of Flood Protection Do I Need For My House?

flood protectionWhether you live in a climate that sees heavy rains or you just want to avoid damage from a backed-up toilet or broken pipe, flood protection is worth the investment. Some of the most effective precautions are as simple as basic home maintenance.

Keep the Water Out

There’s a lot you can do to prevent floor water from entering your home. Grade the ground around your house at a slope of around 1 inch per foot for 6 feet to direct water away from the foundation. Keep your gutters clean and make sure your downspouts extend at least 3 feet away from your house.

Have a sump pump with a battery backup installed in the lowest point of your basement or crawlspace. The pump will automatically switch on when it fills with water and pump the water away from house. Also consider a backwater valve, which prevents sewage from backing up into your home during heavy rainfall.

Protect Your Interior

With a few extra precautions, you can protect your home from damage even if it does flood. Firmly secure your major appliances, such as your furnace, water heater, and washing machine to platforms at least a foot above your local base flood elevation as determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Ideally, all your wiring and electrical components should be a foot above base flood level, but when this isn’t possible, check that wiring in parts of the house that might flood are rated for underground use and that your outlets are ground fault interrupters.

For extra flood protection, waterproofing coatings are also an option. These are applied to your walls to prevent water from penetrating.

Consider installing a water leak detection and alarm system. These system are based on water-sensors usually placed near water-using appliances, plumbing fixtures, and leak-prone areas such as the basement or attic. When the system senses water nearby, it alerts you with an alarm. Some even turn off your house’s water supply, preventing flooding when you’re away.

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