While engineering can allow a home to stand up to hurricane winds even stronger than structural design limits, there isn’t much that can stop a home from sustaining flood damage as soon as water crosses the threshold.
Once the water reaches the level of your floor and goes an inch above, you have significant damage.
It’s important to know the flood level at your home and find out the official measure of how high floodwaters could rise where you live. You’ll find this information by checking the online flood maps on the FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) website. Your local government’s building department and your insurance agent will know this, too.
Short of putting your home up on stilts, here are six measures that will offer some protection if flooding occurs.
Be sure to use licensed and insured contractors to make any modifications. Check with your local building department about permit requirements.
Safeguard in-home electrical and cooling and heating systems. Raise switches, sockets, circuit breakers and wiring at least a foot above the expected flood level in your area. Modify your furnace, water heater and any other anchored indoor equipment so that it sits above your property’s flood level.
Anchor and raise outdoor equipment fuel tanks, air-conditioning units and generators should be anchored and raised above your flood level. Unanchored fuel tanks can break free, and severed supply lines will contaminate surrounding ground.
For flood prone areas one must be caution and aware that electrical power units and generators should never sit on the ground.
These backup power equipment will be inundated (by water) and useless. Worse, is that salt water will destroy electronic devices.
Have a professional install new water valves for our home because a flooded sewer system can cause sewage to back up into your home. This way you don’t find yourself stuck in, well you know what. Some government agencies recommend the installation of gate valves. They are more complex, and you operate them by hand. But they provide stronger seals than flap or check valves, which open automatically to allow water to flow out and then close when water tries to get in. In addition valves should be installed on all pipes entering the house.
Next we need to discuss Flood Protection and Flood Prevention Barriers. One needs determine how water flows around your house. This will allow you to take advantage of any slope. Since on average a flooding event is less than two feet of water the easy to install TBS60 provides you with amble flood water protection. By knowing the grade and slope of your property, you can take advantage of any slop to help redirect water and mudflow away from your house. Obviously, it’s best if the home was built so that water drains away from the building.
This is easy enough to determine by watching how water flows or accumulates during an average rainstorm.
If your street is prone to standing water even after a fairly ordinary rainstorm, talk to your county planning or environmental services department. A major part of their job is water flow, and they can make suggestions.
If possible redesign before the storm. If your home floods frequently and moving isn’t an option, you may need to take drastic and costly measures.
Do some ‘dry proofing’ by applying coatings and other sealing materials to your walls to keep out floods. Take last-minute measures as waters rise, clear gutters, drains and downspouts.
Move furniture, rugs, electronics and other belongings to upper floors, or at least raise them off a ground floor. Shut off electricity at the breaker panel. Elevate major appliances onto concrete blocks if they’re potentially in harm’s way from flooding.
Always double check and consult local governmental agencies about the likelihood of flooding where you live. The right valves can help keep sewage backup out of your home during a flood. Vents can prevent water from accumulating in your home. Coatings can seal walls.