Protect Your Home Against Flooding
With so many Coloradoans devastated by the recent flooding, we are harshly reminded: anywhere it rains, it can flood. Just because you don’t live in a high-risk area or haven’t experienced a flood in the past, it does not mean you won’t someday. By taking steps to prevent moisture intrusion now, you can avoid a host of problems later. We recommend the following:
Correct Negative Grading: Water that falls on the ground near the foundation can seep in through the basement walls, especially if the ground is sloping towards your house instead of up and away. If you have negative grading, pull back any landscaping materials and any fabric. Add dirt or structural fill material to create a positive slope away from the foundation for several feet.
Install a French Drain: When the site does not allow for positive grading, dig down and create a swale, or French drain, that will divert water away from the foundation.
Secure Flashing: Flashing is the thin metal material that seals edges around openings on your home; it protects from water penetration between the roof and the rest of the home. Get a roofer out once per year to inspect the flashing on your roof and windows.
Clean Gutters: Gutters are a key component of the drainage system of a house. The drainage system does not work when it is full of leaves and branches. If you come home to an indoor rain storm, then a clogged gutter is probably your culprit. It is best to clean these twice a year, in the spring and the fall. Ensure that downspouts direct water away from the home.
Consider a Sump Pump: Although sump pumps are not intended to deal with a large flood, they can help minimize your risk in the case of a flooded basement.
Disconnect and Raise Equipment: If you receive a flood warning, it is important to know how high floodwaters could rise where you live. You’ll find this information by checking the online flood maps on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website. If you know a flood is coming your way, raise switches, sockets, circuit breakers and wiring at least a foot above the expected flood level in your area. Modify your furnace, water heater, air conditioner, and any other anchored equipment so that it sits above your property’s flood level.
72-Hour Emergency Kit: Although this last bit of advice does not point to protecting your home, please incorporate it into your preparedness plans! No matter what type of disaster strikes, a 72-hour kit can save your life. First responders and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but as we know, they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, but it could take days. Gather survival supplies that will last you for three days: food, water, first aid, solar charger, flashlights, batteries, moist towelettes, local maps, etc. Visit www.ready.gov/basic-disaster-supplies-kit for a complete list of recommended items, or search the internet for ready-to-buy, pre-assembled disaster kits.
Stay safe, Colorado! If you would like guidance or referrals in preparing your home for a flood or dealing with damage in the aftermath, please contact The Steller Group at 303.539.5228 or Info@StellerRealEstate.com