Protecting Against Flooding

Protecting Against Flooding

Flooding from 2011 Hurricane Irene in Centerport, New York. Image: Dhaluza. CCHurricane Irene in Centerport, NY

Flooding can be catastrophic to everything in its path, especially houses. Sometimes there is little that can be done – such as during hurricanes – but for average flooding, there are some measures you can take to help protect your house (and foundation) from being damaged.

  • Fix any leaks. If there are leaks or cracks anywhere, such as in plumbing or water lines, drainage pipes, the roof, walls or ceiling, they should be fixed immediately to prevent potential water damage.
  • Seal foundation cracks. Take a look at your foundation and see if there are any cracks. If so, then you should seal them with mortar and masonry caulk (or hydraulic cement), which is an efficient and a cost-friendly fix. If water is a consistent problem, it’s a good idea to contact an expert to determine what the problem is.
  • Clean gutters & drainage pipes. If rain gutters are filled with debris, they won’t be able to transport excess water away from your house, which could cause problems. Debris can also cause gutters to become heavy and eventually fall, potentially posing danger to you and your family. When cleaning gutters, make sure to dispose of the debris away from your foundation.

    Severe flash flooding in Toowoomba. Image: Kingbob86 (CC). 

  • Consider installing a sump pump. It will pump water out of your basement and ensure flooding does little to no damage. Also note, battery powered sump pumps are even better as they can function without electricity, which could be invaluable during blackouts.
  • Install a French drain. These drains collect runoff water in a yard and transport it away from a foundation before it can cause damage.
  • Make sure sewer lines are one-way. Sewer/septic line check valves can be installed that only let waste flow one way and not backwards, which will prevent sewage from backing up into your home.

Source: House Logic: Flood Control

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