Flooding is a horrible thing that sadly most people will have to deal with in their lives. Home flooding is generally the result of three common events: basement flooding, natural disaster flooding, and water main flooding. Flooding destroys not only our homes but also our tangible memories. Everyone needs to protect their home from flooding even a home on a hill. With the cost of flood damage averaging around $33,000 in damage, we are going to share some ways that you can protect your home or property today.
Flooding is the most common and one of the costliest weather disasters in the U.S., according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. One way to protect your property is making sure its electrical components and receptacles are located at least one foot above expected flood heights. With this making sure all of your outlets, furnace, breakers, sockets, or anything else that could cause damage in your home’s wiring.
The steps of doing this are as follows. Make sure you that the power is turned off. This is located at your circuit board. Remove the screws located on the plates outlet. Remove the cover and loosen all screws located around the outlet. Pull the black and white wires off of the outlet. Loosen the screws around the mounting tabs of the outlet box and pull out of the wall. Hold new outlet box in the position in the new location almost directly above the existing spot. Make sure there is no wall stud behind your new position. Trace around the box and cut out the area with a keyhole saw.
Push the Romex cable through the new opening until the wire appears in the bottom of your new opening. Pull a couple inches of wire and feed it into the top of the outlet box. Remove 1 inch of insulation from the black and white wires. Math the black and white wires and connect to old outlet. Slide a wire nut over each pair and twist until the nut is holding the wires tightly together. Place the box back into the wall opening and screw mounting tabs until the box is secure. Place outlet covers onto the box and attaches with screws at the top and bottom. Slide the cable through the hole in the bottom of your new outlet box.
Place the outlet box in the opening and turn the mounting tabs with a screwdriver to lock the box in place. Place the black wire under the brass screw and tighten. The white wire should go under the silver screw and tighten. Place the outlet into the box and attach it with the screws. Once you are sure everything is connected effectively turn your power back on and make sure you did everything right.
Next check how water would flow around your house. Looking at the slopes of the ground around your house and the grading can show how your house would stand against water flowing around. During an average rainstorm check how well your water moves around your home and if there is any standing water. Check to see where your soil is. There should be 8 inches of air space between the ground and your second shingle or siding. If you have a pile of soil right next to your home this can lead to termites and rotting.
Here are some steps to help save your home and siding. Take out any dirt that touches your siding by using a shovel and wheelbarrow. If you see any rotting make a note that you will most likely need to replace them. Take out enough dirt that you are 10 inches below the line of your shingles or siding. If your neighbors or surrounding land has a mound of dirt that could potentially make its way over to your here is what you need to do.
Place a string on your lawn 2 inches above the ground covering the distance. Then place pressure treated two by twelves up to the top of the line. This is going to act as your retaining wall if you do not have one. To help the pressure of your neighbor’s dirt eventually making its way against your new wall, place two by fours on the opposite side helping your wood wall to stand firm.
Pay attention to your downspouts. If your downspouts do not run out to a place of absorption away from your home this could also cause rotting to your home. Create a trench 6 inches in the ground so that the PVC pipes have a place to sit without being moved or a hindrance. This helps your water that comes from your gutters to have an easy path to follow. Connect your PVC pipes angling to the nearest drainage. Then cover the ground with rocks covering the PVC pipes as well as any dirt next to the house. This helps to stop dirt from splashing up on the house and improve any excess water drainage.
Analysis of what is called “dry-flooding protection”. This is when coatings and sealants are applied to the foundation, walls, windows, and doorways of your house. These are the essentials points of where standing water like to seep through. With sealing these off if it gets to the point of water coming near your house your exterior is safe from all entry points.
Make sure anything that has to be outside is not going to be broken or swept away. The worst thing is buying something and watching it float away from you.
Anchoring or elevating your outdoor items help you even on windy days as well. Ways that you can anchor your outdoor equipment could be weighing them down. Placing heavyweights on your grill, generators, or other outdoor equipment helps you have ease of mind in an easy to use way. Plus you can leave the weights on your equipment year round. Another way is tying them to a nearby structure. Make sure that this structure is a well-anchored area. This could be your porch or deck. Make sure the rope that you use hasn’t frayed and can withstand the strain of holding a heavy item in places for what could be a couple weeks. As well do not tie this rope around any part that could get hot and either start a fire or weaken the rope. If your item has wheels make sure that you place angles wooden blocks under the wheels to help it not roll away.
One of the grossest thing about flooding, that not too many people know about, is that your home could back up with sewage. This alone can cause thousands of dollars to follow up with cleaning up and restoring your items. Sewage also carries tons of bacteria causing sicknesses. But please note this: “Sewer backups or the inability of sump pumps to handle runoff water from major downpours are not covered under a typical homeowners insurance policy, nor are they covered by flood insurance,” said Loretta Worters, vice president of the I.I.I. “Those types of coverage must be purchased either as a separate product or as an endorsement to a homeowners policy.” The biggest thing that you will need to look into is to install a Backwater Prevention Valve. This valve is installed in the actual sewer line and sometimes the drain line. If put in properly this allows sewage to go out of your house safely.
These are just some of the baseline points of how you can protect your home and become aware of the reality of flooding. In the next blog, we will look further into more factors that could contribute a problem to your homes will being such as your sump pump discharge, soil slope around the house, window wells, how to prevent soil from pulling away from the house, gutters, downspouts, and many more topics. While we do hope that you never have to experience flooding we also know that flooding is a reality. So help your wallet this year by making sure your home is protected from water damage.