Top Flood Prevention Tips for Spring
Spring rains and melting snow can cause devastating floods, but with these planning and preparation tips, you have a much better chance of keeping your home and yard safe and dry.
For those who’ve recently moved and aren’t familiar with what spring is like in their new location, there are some basic questions that need to be addressed. Is the water table high in this area? Are we on a flood plain? Has this neighborhood been through a flood in the past?
Optimize your backyard drainage
A spring flood can be caused by snow melt or spring rains, so it’s important to prevent water building up in your backyard. It’s easy to overlook the importance of planning your drainage when you’re landscaping your garden in the heat of summer.
Unblock clogged drains
No matter how efficient your drainage scheme, a clogged basement floor drain will sabotage all your efforts. Check your drains regularly for blockages and attend to any slow drainage issues or drain back-ups immediately. The longer you ignore it, the worse it will become.
Clean out your gutters and downspouts
You’d be surprised how many gallons of water fall on your roof during a heavy spring shower, and overflowing or broken gutters and downspouts can channel the water in all the wrong directions, often contributing to a flood problem. Checking your gutters and downspouts should be part of your regular home maintenance routine.
Inspect your sump pump
Sump pumps are another common culprit for backing up and causing flooding. Your regular maintenance routine should include checking that the intake valve isn’t blocked and ensuring that the sump pit is free of any debris which could cause a blockage. And, a sump pump needs electricity to work, so have a backup generator on hand to protect against power outages during a spring flood.
Fit a backwater valve to your floor drain
Even the best of us can suffer a flood from a backed-up floor drain. But you can prevent that contaminated water from flooding your home by fitting a backwater valve that effectively seals the drain and keeps the floodwater out.
Move heating/cooling appliances and electrical panels upstairs
If you live an area that’s vulnerable to spring flooding, moving your appliances and electrical panels to an upstairs location will help protect them from repeated damage and give you peace of mind. However, keep in mind that this can make you more at risk of suffering damage from leaking appliances.
Install a simple flood sensor
Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter what causes a flood. What you need is an efficient alarm system to alert you to any problems. And a simple flood sensor is both affordable and easy to install. Set up the sensors in key areas of your basement or other vulnerable spots, and you can relax knowing that they’ll let you know instantly if any water is detected.
Waterproof your basement
And finally, ensuring your basement is waterproof will go a long way towards protecting your home if the worst does happen. While this isn’t a simple or quick project, it will repay your investment many times over, both in your peace of mind and also in the protection it provides.