Top 5 Pro Tips to Prevent Flooding In Your Home

Owning a home can provide you with a sense of pride and even accomplishment. After all, homeownership is one of the things baked into the American Dream. Yet, homes are also prone to several types of damage.

One of the most common types of damage that your home can suffer is water damage from some kind of flooding. It might stem from a broken pipe, malfunctioning appliance, or a severe storm in your area.

If you’re wondering what you can do to prevent flooding in your home, keep reading for five pro tips that will help keep the inside of your home dry.

1. Check Your Pipes Periodically

Since pipes carry water throughout your home, they are one of the most likely culprits in terms of potential flooding. That means you must give your pipes a once over on occasion. Since that may mean getting into a crawlspace, it’s not something most people want to do on a regular basis.

Instead, build it into your annual or semi-annual maintenance checklist for your home. Each fall or spring, both if you feel ambitious, give all of your accessible pipes a visual once over. Make a note of any pipes that show signs of leaking.

Leaks are one of the most reliable signs that you’ll have a flooding problem inside your home in the near future.

If you aren’t confident that you’ll know a subtle problem when you see it, hire a plumber to do the inspection for you. As a bonus, they’re more likely to recognize problems on sight than you.

Spotting problems with your pipes before they become catastrophic is one of the key flood prevention tips that a homeowner can employ.

2. Upgrades

There are a number of upgrades you install in your home that will help prevent flooding. One of the big ones is backflow prevention valves. These valves essentially make it so that water can drain freely out of your home, but the water can come back up the drain beyond a certain point.

You can also install flood stop devices around appliances such as washing machines, hot water heaters, and dishwashers. These devices interrupt the water supply if the device notes a leak. That can help prevent flooding before it becomes a full-blown disaster in your home.

Flood skirts around your exterior doors and ground-level windows can help keep water outside in the event that you experience some local flooding in your area.

3. Sump Pump

Your sump pump is one of the main lines of defense in limiting or preventing floods in your home. Your sump pump generally sits at the lowest point in your basement, which helps it collect any water. It then, quite literally, pumps that water from your basement to the outside.

In most cases, it pumps out to a distance that prevents the water from getting back into the house.

At a bare minimum, you should do some basic maintenance on your sump pump. That means cleaning the pump screen periodically.

The pump bearings may also require occasional greasing or oiling. You can find any recommendations for greasing or oiling in the user’s or owner’s manual.

While sump pumps provide a useful service, they only work when they have power. In a flooding situation, the power in your neighborhood may go out. That means you should provide a backup battery power supply for your pump that you keep charged.

If your pump doesn’t have a battery backup or isn’t compatible with one, you may want a new pump that does come with a backup.

4. Grading and Drainage

While there is very little you can do when major floods come through, many basements flood when there is heavy rainfall or snowmelt. You see that problem more often when a yard has improper grading and poor drainage.

In ideal circumstances, the grade of your yard should follow a slight decline away from your home. That helps redirect water toward the road or sewer system and away from your home. When your yard lacks that grading, it lets water pool near your home.

Different types of soil provide different levels of drainage. If your soil offers subpar drainage, you may need additional drainage installed around your home to ensure that the water flows away from your home and not toward it.

As part of your drainage efforts, make sure that you keep drains and ditches free from any loose debris like branches or piles of leaves. Keep an eye on your gutters and downspouts. Much like the grade of your lawn, those help direct water from your roof away from the house.

5. Seal Things Up

Water inevitably goes where it flows with the most ease. That means that any cracks around windows or in your foundation will become prime targets for excess water during a flood.

You can find products that will help you seal up the walls in your basement to prevent water intrusion. You can also seal up any exterior cracks you find with a waterproof sealant, such as silicone caulk.

Watch out for spots where pipes enter or exit your home, such as water mains, electrical conduits, or drains. Not only are those potential entry spots for water, but they can also serve as points where insects or rodents can get into your home.

If you don’t trust the integrity of your basement windows or seals, consider upgrading those windows.

You Can Help Prevent Flooding in Your Home

You need a water supply in your home, but also means you must take steps that help prevent flooding. Start taking steps with the big things, like inspecting your pipes at least once a year and installing upgrades that help limit the ways flooding can happen.

Make sure your sump pump gets regular maintenance and has a reliable backup power supply. Seal up your basement, any cracks you find, and around ground-level windows. If necessary, get your lawn regarded and install some extra drainage.

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