Flooding and rain storms can cause extraordinary levels of damage to your home, in addition to being dangerous to your family. When bad weather is approaching, there are some things you can do to increase your safety and protect your property. It's best to be prepared early on, especially during the stormy weather seasons.
Be Aware of Your Risk
If your home is in a flood zone, you should be more aware of your risk. All homes are rated regarding their flood risk, which relates to the general probability that damage could occur. You should also install a weather-related app or otherwise make it a habit to check the weather, so you know whether potential damage could be coming.
Double Check Your Insurance Policy
Not all homeowner's insurance policies include flooding. In fact, many don't. Most homeowner's insurance policies only cover plumbing issues, not weather-related flood damage. Be sure to check your insurance policy to make sure you don't need to add on a separate flood coverage.
Unfortunately, if you happen to live in an area with frequent flooding, you may either not qualify for this additional coverage, or you may have to pay a large premium for it.
Install a Perimeter Drain around Your House
If flooding is an issue around your property, consider installing a perimeter drain. A simple perimeter drain such as a French drain is easy to install and will reduce the chances of flooding. By redirecting rainwater away from your property, it will also protect your foundation long-term. This is often recommended if you see water pooling around the sides of your house.
Make Sure Your Gutters Are Maintained and Cleaned
Overflowing, blocked gutters can lead to roof leaks and foundation damage. The goal of gutters is to pour water away from your foundation, and when they don't work, water can pool around your house, causing damage. You should inspect your gutters and clean them out at least once a month, as pests (such as raccoons and birds) can also cause damage to them.
Protect Your Windows from Storm Damage
If a serious storm is coming, you may want to tape up your windows: if the winds are going to be high, your windows could shatter and burst. When upgrading your windows, consider purchasing protective upgrades, such as window films.
Seal Your Basement against Moisture
There are several ways to protect a basement against moisture. If your basement has small leaks, you can seal the cracks or apply a moisture sealant to the interior. With that being said, it is always wise to contact a professional to assess your basement and possibly look into installing a drain and a pump.
Inspect Your Property after a Rain
Inspecting your property just after it rains is the best way to get an idea of where water is pooling. Water can drain quickly enough around your foundation that you don't otherwise notice it, but that water can still be getting into the structure of your home.
Don't Try to Travel Unless Evacuated
Unless an evacuation has been advised, it's generally safer to stay inside of your house during a flood or a storm. Trying to travel during a flood is very dangerous, especially if there's traffic on the road.
If you're already on the road, don't go into deep water in your car: this is a major cause of vehicle flood damage. A car will stop outright if it's submerged under too much water.
Evacuate Immediately If Requested
Once an evacuation has begun, it's important that you leave immediately: don't delay. Flood waters can rise in a matter of seconds, with a situation that seems under control turning perilous within minutes. During a serious flood, make sure you keep an eye on the news, and watch the weather radar is possible.
Keep an Eye Out for Any Mold or Mildew
After a flood has occurred, make sure to look for mold or mildew in your home, especially in your basement. Water damage itself isn't usually the cause of the most costly home repairs: it's the mold that can grow afterwards if the moisture isn't addressed. Mold can be harmful to your house and your family.
Your insurance policy is going to become very important if your home experiences flood or rain damage. An insurance policy covers the repairs and renovations associated with flooding and storms, while also paying for things such as a place to stay while these repairs are completed.
As mentioned, not all insurance policies will cover flooding. You need to be conscientious about your coverage and regularly review your insurance policies. This is where we can help – contact us today at 1.844.929.4768 to find out whether you have enough insurance for your needs.
- Information by the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction