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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.

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First steps

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?

Start your flood preparation by checking out this get-your-home-ready-for-floods guide.

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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.

Make sure you achieve optimum yard drainage by following our step-by-step advice.

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unclog drain

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.

Here’s how to clear a blocked drain.

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Family Handyman

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.

If your gutters are gushing where they shouldn’t, here’s how to fix them.

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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.

If your shut-off valve is noisy, here’s how to fix it.

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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.

If you haven’t yet modified your floor drain with a backwater valve, don’t delay – here’s how to do it.

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Family Handyman

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.

So follow our top tips for avoiding upstairs laundry room floods.

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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.

Learn more about water detector here.

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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.

This advice on how to waterproof your basement is the ultimate guide.