Floods can happen anytime and anywhere. According to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency,), one-third of the federal disaster assistance for flooding goes to communities that are considered low to moderate risk for flooding. No matter where you live, you should always be prepared for a flood.

FEMA also reports water damage from a flood, with as little as one inch of water, can cost up to $25,000 for a homeowner. House insurance can cover most of these damages, however, reducing your risk for potential water damage from a flood can protect your home’s structure and your personal belongings.

Evaluate Your Risk of Flood in Your Area

The first step you should take in protecting your home from flooding is to evaluate the risk level of floods in your area. FEMA Flood Map Service will provide you with general flood risks by region, so you are able to check your risk level on this map. By entering some simple information, it will allow you to see reports on your area’s flood history.

Make Sure Homeowner’s Insurance Covers Flood Damage

Check your homeowner’s insurance policy to ensure it covers damages suffered by floods. Flood insurance can cover your losses in a flood, minus your deductible. If you are in an area with a high risk for flooding but are not able to purchase flood insurance through your provider, you can check for coverage through the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program.)

The best time to check your coverage and purchase flood insurance is before an event occurs. Some insurance companies do not make coverage active for thirty days after signing up or purchasing a policy. Contact your insurance provider or an independent agent offering flood coverage before a disaster strikes. FEMA also has a National Flood Insurance Program provider locator if you have trouble finding coverage in your area.

Protect Your Home From a Flood

Once you have learned your risk level of a flood occurring in your area, and have secured the proper insurance coverage, it’s time to protect your home. Protecting your home can range from an expensive renovation to basic, free maintenance steps. Depending on your risk of flooding where you live and how well your house was built, these steps should make you and your home safer against a flood.

  • Install a sump pump or foundation vents
    • Sump pumps are often used to pump water out of a basement that floods frequently. It is recommended you use a pump that has a battery backup system as power generally goes out during a flood event. Foundation vents are a means of ‘wet-flood proofing’ your home. These vents will allow water to flow through your home instead of pooling inside. The vents will provide a way out for the water and relieve pressure from being put onto your basement windows and walls.
  • Apply sealants
    • Dry-flood proofing is a form of sealants and coatings applied to your foundation, doorways, windows, and walls. This proofing will prevent flood water from leaking through cracks into your home.
  • Grade lawn area away from home
    • Lawns that tilt towards a house allow rainwater to pool around the structure. Grade your lawn away from your home with heavy soil that contains clay and sand so surface runoff empties into the street or other appropriate areas.
  • Downspouts should face away from the house
    • Your gutter runoff should be pointed away from your house to prevent water from pooling at the corners of your structure. When this water is allowed to pool, it will eventually create leaks in the foundation that will allow water directly inside your house. 

These steps will help to protect you against water damage from a flood. Other measures you can take include ensuring your appliances are raised above flood levels. Placing appliances, such as generators, water heaters, air conditioning units, dryers, washers, and others on concrete blocks can prevent damage to them if the waters begin to rise.

Where to Find Help From Water Damage After a Flood

Austin Fire & Flood is your local resource if you’ve suffered water damage. Our water damage experts will be onsite immediately if you’ve suffered any form of damage and provide you with the water restoration you need to get back into your home. Contact our technicians today and learn how we can provide you with a detailed assessment on executing water mitigation efficiently and quickly.