Floods are the most common natural disaster in this country, and there are very few places in the United States that are considered flood-free (we can’t easily think of any!). There are also artificial reasons for your home to flood and be subject to ruinous water damage. Between catastrophic weather events and “man-made” causes for flooding, you’d better get yourself prepared.
FEMA is a great resource for flood and disaster prevention. It recommends prevention tactics such as wet and dry floodproofing and barriers. FEMA also mentions extremes like elevation, relocation, and demolition for your structure, but we’ll stick to the simple fixes here.
Dry floodproofing is a method of sealing the exterior of your home to protect it from outside water. We recommend talking to a trusted local contractor with a good amount of dry floodproofing experience. Many projects are do-it-yourself, but you don’t want to miss anything. Bottom line: Err on the safe side and check with an expert.
Wet floodproofing is a little more involved as these measures are much more permanent and even allow floodwaters to enter your home. You will certainly need to focus on protecting mechanical equipment like breaker boxes and utility structures during wet floodproofing projects. These prevention efforts might also be as extreme as elevating and properly anchoring your home, depending on the severity of natural flooding in your area. FEMA provides requirements and guidance here: http://www.fema.gov/plan/prevent/floodplain/nfipkeywords/wet_floodproofing.shtm.
An experienced contractor will be indispensable when it comes to erecting levees and flood barriers. It is a good idea to consult with someone well versed in FEMA flood barrier standards. Floodproofing standards are updated periodically, so educate yourself and seek professional help before undertaking any large projects.
Aside from natural weather events, clogged or broken pipes and overflowing basins can also cause significant flood damage to your home. Simple things like setting a timer when filling a tub or sink to prevent overflow and switching water mains to the off position before the first freeze can make the difference between a placid evening at home and displacement of the entire family. The do-it-yourself types will feel right at home unclogging pipes and gutters and replacing the broken ones that are easily accessible. A professional will probably need to be called in to handle buried or underground lines and major roof leaks. Keeping a schedule of checking and weathering your home will go a long way in warding off a flood.
Of course, even after all this prevention, if you do find yourself in the unfortunate situation that your home is flooded, you’d better prepare a contingency plan as well. Here are a few tips.
A “go bag” will come in handy for all sorts of life events from births to medical emergencies to disasters like flood damage. Go bags should include a change of clothes for at least three days; toiletries; bottled water; insurance policy, contacts, and phone numbers; and a couple of copies of an evacuation route map.
“Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst” never rings more clear than with home flooding. Preparation and prevention are key. And resources abound for any stage of your disaster.
Total Restoration of Texas provides the following services:
We serve the following Austin-area communities:
- Cedar Park
- New Braunfels
- Round Rock
- San Marcos