Flooding on your property is expensive and destructive. Flooding is the #1 natural disaster that causes more deaths and loss of property than any other natural hazard in the US. According to FloodSmart.gov, “30% of all flood insurance claims are filed in low – to moderate – risk areas.” Through the variety of storms we see in Kansas, flash flooding can occur at any time. Here are 6 ways protect your property from flooding.
1. Property Elevation The plot of land your home sits on will deal greatly in how well of your property will hold up during a natural disaster. While costs can be upwards of $20,000, if you’re property allows, you could lift your home on piers or columns so the lowest level of your home is above the flood line. While flooding can be unpredictable, being on the higher ground is the best solution to avoid flooding.
2. Property Grade If your land slopes toward your home or if you have poor drainage and water isn’t directed away from your home, significant water damage can result. You can determine how water moves on your property during a rainstorm by watching the flow. The flow of the water may indicate areas on your property that may be susceptible to flooding.
3. Streets While it might not technically be your property, your city’s water system can indicate trouble. If you notice pooling or standing water on your street during an average rainstorm, this could lead to significant disaster during a downpour or flash flood. If water isn’t sufficiently collected and moved easily through the sewage lines, there could be potential for line backups which could end up on your property. You can contact your environmental services or city planning department for solutions to city water flow issues.
4. Plugs and Valves If there is a flood warning issued in your area, a safe practice would be to plug your sinks and drains to reduce the potential for waters to leak through these areas. Commercial grade plugs are the best option as they expand to fit the size of the pipe they are inserted into. This simple trick could save you from potential sewage line backups or at least reduce the amount of backup flooding and damage to your property.
5. Dry-proofing This method of protection is to reduce the potential of any flood waters penetrating inside your property and limit the risk of having to call water damage specialists. Dry-proofing can be a less expensive method of protecting your property, there are some cons as well.
Dry-proofing may be a good safeguard for small floods, but won’t be able to minimize the potential damage for high-velocity floods and large amounts of water. You can insert backup flow valves in your plumbing lines to stop drain and sewage lines from backing up through your sinks and drains. You can apply flood membranes to your home and seal bricks, siding, windows, and doors, but these membranes and shields may not be aesthetically appealing. Dry-proofing requires notice in order to fully prepare your home for flooding and will require maintenance and upkeep to keep the barriers secure.
6. Sandbags Sandbags can provide a temporary option to keep flooding away from your property, but it’s important to use them correctly. Do not, place sandbags directly against your property surfaces (foundation, siding, doorways). The purpose of the sandbag is to stop water from flowing up to your foundation or exposed areas. While this prevention method is labor intensive, it’s necessary if using sandbags to border your entire property, stacking the bags higher than the flood level and making sure there aren’t any areas where water could leak through.