Moisture intrusion is one of the greatest threats to a home’s health, and during spring, the risk of this damage is most significant, with snowmelts and heavy rainfall continually looming. Homeowners must ensure their home is protected to manage water year-round, even though springtime poses the most significant risk for water-related issues.
Water intrusion in the home can lead to severe issues, from mold growth to damaging the home’s foundation, which can become expensive and invasive problems to remedy. FEMA estimates that just one inch of water in a home can cause $25,000 worth of damages.
There are many steps a homeowner can take to prevent unwanted water from entering the home and protect it from severe damage.
Flood Map Research
Flooding is a natural occurrence and can happen almost anywhere. However, some areas across the country experience a higher risk of flooding.FEMA Flood Maps are an excellent resource to check if a home is in one of these regions. Getting a better understanding of the flood risk is a perfect start in protecting a home.
Call in a Specialist
Reach out to a professional who understands home flooding; a local floodplain manager, land surveyor, or home inspector can provide information on the impact of flooding on a home in a more personalized sense. These professionals come from various backgrounds, each bringing their focus to the table.
The floodplain manager works on the local ordinance and educates their communities on flooding-related issues. Land surveyors can provide you with an Elevation Certificate (EC) to help you get better insurance rates and lower your risk of flood damage. A home inspector will evaluate the home, looking for signs of moisture intrusion or water damage, and assess the home’s ability to manage water properly. They may recommend repairs or refer specialists to get a house in top working order.
Generally, homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage. That’s why it’s prudent to consider getting specific flood insurance to protect the home and your belongings in case of flood damage. Those who have government-backed mortgages and live in high-risk flood areas must carry this insurance. Even if the home is located outside a high-risk flood area, flooding can happen almost anywhere, so it is good to be protected if severe flooding occurs. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) offers federally backed insurance policies covering direct physical losses to structures and belongings.
The Next Steps
Consider Installing a Sump Pump
The most effective way to prevent a basement from flooding is to install a sump pump system. Sump pumps primary function is to collect excess water in the ground surrounding the home and expel it away. The sump pump will require routine maintenance to work correctly like any home system.
Keep Gutters Clean
A gutter system is a crucial component that works to keep water away from the home. However, they must be correctly maintained and cleaned regularly. Plan to clean the gutters at least two times per year, typically in the Spring and Fall. Having the gutters function effectively will help water move safely away from the home and help avoid water from pooling around its structure, leading to water damage and moisture intrusion.
Prep the Basement and Crawlspace
If a home does experience flooding, it is likely to impact the basement or crawlspaces the most. Here are some steps to take to prepare these areas for potential flooding better:
Flooding can pose a serious risk to homeowners, but you will be able to effectively handle whatever is thrown at you with the proper preparations and precautions! Taking the time to learn and protect your home will pay off in dividends if you ever experience any extreme flooding.