Tips to Prevent Flooding
Discover which areas are most prone to flooding and what you can do to help avoid it from happening in your home.
No one wants to deal with a flooded house, and while you may think flooding can happen out of the blue, there are some precautionary measures you can take to make sure it’s less likely to occur. From recognizing the early warning signs to what type of flood repairs you might need if you do experience one – learn about what you can do to prevent flooding in and around your home.
Common Places and Sources
Some parts of a home are more susceptible to flooding than others. Different factors such as proximity to sinks and toilets, the location of pipes behind walls and even the angle of the ground your foundation sits on can each play a part – but don’t always determine – where flooding may occur. Of course, any part of your house could flood, so make sure to do a thorough evaluation of both the interior and exterior of your home.
Because basements are the lowest level of a house and usually built partly or entirely below ground level, they are already prone to flooding. Homes with basements can experience flooding for a number of reasons. Oftentimes it's due to extreme weather such as periods of heavy rains or rapid snowmelts in the spring. It can also occur from seepage through the walls or floors, overflowing groundwater or surface water sources (lakes, rivers, ponds) as well as sanitary or storm sewer backup.
Water heaters, dishwashers, and washers all utilize water and are capable of flooding. This could happen due to structural or electrical failures, the age of the appliance, undetected leaks or faulty pieces of equipment, such as hoses. In order to prevent appliances from malfunctioning and causing leaks, schedule routine inspections and maintenance with a professional to ensure your appliances are in good working order.
The main causes of flooding in the bathroom are due to drain and pipe clogs (usually in the toilet), malfunctioning toilets and sinks, and even carelessness, which usually happens when a plugged sink or bathtub are left running and overflow.
A leaky roof can occur from broken shingles, cracked flashing, loosely sealed areas such as valleys (areas where two planes of roof come together), improperly installed skylights and more. In order to pinpoint the source of the water, it's best to hire professionally trained contractors to assess your roof.
Clogged gutters and drains are exterior parts of your home that can also cause flooding if they become blocked with leaves and debris. A telltale sign of clogged gutters is a lack of water trickling out of the downspout during a rainstorm, or a pool of rainwater on one area of a roof, which can then seep through cracks. Storm drains and exterior drains around the exterior of your home could also back up from leaves and debris, causing wet, marshy areas in your yard.
So what can you do to reduce the likelihood of dealing with a flooded house? Scheduling routine maintenance with professional companies that provide services for roofs, major appliances (such as water heaters), drainage systems and sump pumps is a good place to start. By utilizing these services, you'll have a better idea of the condition of different parts of your home and whether you need to make any repairs or replacements to ensure your home isn't in danger of flooding. You can also perform a thorough walk-through of the interior and exterior of your home, paying special attention to possible problem areas such as drains, gutters and roofs.
What to Do If You Have Flooding
If you experience a flooded house, first do what you can to minimize any more water coming into your home. This may mean shutting off the main water valve or putting a tarp over your roof or ceiling. Once you've done what you can to reduce the flooding, contact a company that specializes in flood repair or water damage restoration and removal. Depending on the level of damage, you may also need to get in touch with professional contractors who can repair and rebuild the parts of your home that were affected.
You should also contact your insurance company to report the flooding and they can help you figure out how the damage will be assessed and who can help you clean up and repair your home.
The information and advice contained in this article is intended as a general guide for informational purposes only. It does not take into account your personal situation. While we at Resolve have significant experience and history operating in the home restoration industry and working closely with construction contractors, we are not licensed as a general or specialty contractor. We encourage you to consider the information we’ve provided but urge you not to rely upon it in place of appropriate professional advice from a licensed, experienced construction contractor.