Is It Possible to Flood-Proof a House?

Many homeowners, both old and new, take necessary precautions to ensure their home’s safety and wellbeing. After all, they did invest a lot of time and money into turning their house into a home. As a safety-conscious homeowner, you’ve performed a plethora of improvement to protect from natural disasters, criminality, and structural damage. But as floods become more frequent and severe with climate change, protecting your home has gotten a lot more serious.

You may wonder: Is it possibly to truly flood-proof a house?

Well, not completely. But if you take the right precautions, you’ll minimize flood damage as much as possible. Here’s what to do.

Evaluate Risk

The first precaution to minimizing your flood damage is to evaluate risk. If you haven’t purchased a home already, keep in mind rising sea levels and areas where homes are more susceptible to flooding. You can gauge your current flood risk to see if you’re at an at-risk area and move from there.

If you’re located in an at-risk area, you should look at homeowners insurance rates to check out which policies cover flooding. Even if you aren’t in a typically flooding area, you’d be surprised how easy it is for a home to flood, especially with climate change. It’s always safe to be backed up with an insurance policy that’ll cover you in the face of disaster. This way, if something does happen, your insurance will cover damages and maybe even place you in a hotel while you figure out your next move.

Elevate Your Boiler

Besides insurance, it’s time to get to the nitty-gritty. Things like utilities, boilers, central air-conditioning units are all typically located in the lowest level of homes. This doesn’t make much sense since they’re incredibly vulnerable to flood damage. Elevating them to higher ground, either by building platforms or actually moving them to another floor will work in your favor.

Install a Sewage Water Backstop

Cities that deal with persistent and costly flooding have municipal programs to fund the installation of backflow prevention valves. These devices prevent waste water backups, especially from public sewers. Usually, waste water flows from a home to a city sewer, but backflow is the opposite. In this case, backflow is unexpected and unwanted. It’s a serious health risk and typically comes from a serious flood.

You can install devices that reverse the flow when you get backflow. There are three main types of valves you can purchase: sewer check valve, automatic flood gate valve, and manual sewer gate valve. They all function a bit differently and vary in price. However, getting any one of them helps in preventing major flood damage to the house.

Fix your Foundation and Change Landscaping

Another thing you can do to minimize flood damage to your home deals with the exterior of the structure and your yard. Before tackling landscaping, take a look at the outside of your home. Walk the perimeter of it to see if there are any cracks or water damage. Work with a contractor to fix it up to ensure more protection. Then move onto landscaping.

When landscaping your home, you should definitely consider how the yard will affect flooding. You should have the yard graded to create a slope away from the home—leading water to run away rather than into the structure.

Additionally, keeping leaves and debris away from the foundation is another precaution you can take. This way, they won’t damage the foundation at all, making it a safer environment.

Taking these steps will help you find and build a safer home that almost fully flood-proofs your life. Just remember to assess your risk, be smart about the exterior of your home, and consider water devices.

Follow the above tips to take care of your property. After all, it is a major investment of personal and financial worth.