In recent years, heavy rains and flooding have been more prevalent. It can affect your home in several ways, from water damage to structural damage. Often homeowners don’t realize how much potential for harm until it has already happened. It doesn’t take long before you realize that you need to be better prepared for potential flooding in the future.
Most homeowners insurance policies cover damage caused by events such as windstorms, fire, and hail. But what about flooding? Flooding is one of the most common natural disasters in the United States and Canada, yet standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flood damage. If you live in a high-risk area for flooding, it’s important to know what your homeowners insurance policy covers and what it doesn’t.
What are Floods?
A flood can be defined as a natural disaster caused by too much water overrunning, usually dry land. Floods are the most common type of natural disaster and account for more than half of all-natural disasters in the United States. They can also be one of the most destructive, costing billions of dollars in damage each year.
What are the Types of Floods?
There are three types of floods: flash floods, river floods, and coastal floods.
- Flash floods are the most dangerous type of flood. They can happen quickly, often without warning, and can be very difficult to escape. Flash floods can occur anywhere, even in areas not typically prone to flooding.
- River floods are the most common type of flood. They occur when a river overflows its banks and inundates nearby areas. River floods can cause a lot of damage and often lead to fatalities.
- Storms and hurricanes cause coastal floods. High winds and waves push water onto the shore, flooding coastal areas. Coastal floods are often the most destructive type of flood.
Assess the Possibility of Flooding in Your Home
The first step in flood protection is determining how likely a flood is in your location and how effectively your home is designed to withstand it. The FEMA Flood Map Service displays flood danger in each region. To discover your area’s flood zones, enter your address in the search field, click “Search All Products,” and pick your state, county, and community to see flood reports for your region.
The flood maps have several zone markers highlighting a region’s flood danger and critical structures like bridges, dams, and levees. The following are some of the zones:
Blue Zones: These zones have a 1% annual chance of occurring. Significant flooding is predicted to occur at least once per 100 years in FEMA blue zones. Although 1% may seem insignificant, FEMA still considers this a high-risk rating, so you should take appropriate flood-proofing precautions.
Orange Zones: These are annual-chance zones with a 0.2 percent chance of occurring. According to FEMA, major flooding is anticipated in orange zones at least once every 500 years. Because these areas are less prone to flooding than blue zones, your flood insurance rates are likely to be lower. However, you should check to see if your home is at risk of flooding due to leaks or excessive surface runoff following rainstorms.
Yellow Zones: These are places where the risk of flooding is unknown. If you live in or want to buy property in a yellow zone, we recommend studying the area’s flood history. Ascertain with your assessor or flood insurance agent if the property is built to resist expected floods by asking neighbors what kind of flooding they’ve witnessed throughout their tenure there.
Regulatory floodways are blue with red stripes: These areas, which frequently contain a river and its floodplain, are usually kept clean to allow water to drain from nearby flood zones. On the other hand, some homes are built in or near regulatory floodways. If this is the situation with your home, take extreme measures to safeguard it against floods.
Before diving into the ways to protect your home from flooding, we will discuss why there is a need to protect your home from flooding. So let’s get into it!!!
Why Is There a Need to Protect Your Home from Flooding?
There are many reasons why you should protect your home from flooding. Some of these reasons include:
Water damage: One of the main dangers of flooding is the amount of water damage it can cause. Water can seep into walls, floors, and furniture, leading to costly repairs.
Structural damage: In addition to water damage, floods can also cause structural damage to your home. It includes damage to the foundation, walls, and roof. If left untreated, this damage can lead to more severe problems.
Mold and mildew: Another danger of floods is the potential for mold and mildew growth. Mold can cause respiratory problems and is difficult to remove, and mildew can also cause damage to your furniture, walls, and flooring.
Health hazards: Floodwaters can contain sewage and other contaminants that can harm your health. It is essential to avoid contact with floodwaters as much as possible.
Now that we know some of the dangers of flooding let’s look at how we can protect our homes from flooding.
How to Protect Your Home from Flooding?
There are several steps you can take to protect your home from flooding. Some of these steps include:
Install a sump pump or foundation vent: Foundation vents are “wet flood-proofing” that allows water to move through your property instead of pooling. It gives flood water somewhere to go while also relieving the strain it puts on your basement walls and windows. Sump pumps are commonly used to remove water from basements where flooding occurs regularly. We recommend a sump pump with a battery backup if the power goes out.
Elevate your furnace and water heater: Elevating your furnace can help protect them from flooding. If these appliances are located in a basement, they can be damaged by floodwaters.
Install a backflow valve: A backflow valve is a device that prevents water from flowing backward into your home’s plumbing system. It can be helpful in a flood, as it will prevent water from entering your home through the plumbing system.
Create a flood plan: If you live in a high-risk area for floods, it is essential to create a flood plain. It includes knowing what to do in the event of a flood and having a list of emergency contact information.
If you take these steps, you can help protect your home from flooding. However, it is essential to remember that no measure is 100% effective. In the event of a flood, it is essential to exercise caution and follow the advice of local officials.
When Flooding Occurs, Take Precautions
If a storm is approaching or flooding has already begun, take the following precautions to protect your home from flooding and water damage:
Move your belongings to higher ground: If you have time, move your belongings to higher ground to avoid them from being damaged by floodwaters.
Disconnect electronics: Disconnect electronics from power sources to prevent them from being damaged by water.
Avoid contact with floodwaters: Avoid contact with floodwaters as much as possible to minimize the risk of injury or illness.
Stay tuned to local news: Stay tuned to local news sources for updates on the flood situation. It will help you stay informed and know when it is safe to return to your home.
If your home is flooded, call a professional: It is essential to call a professional for help if your home is flooded. A professional can assess the damage and determine the best course of action for repairs. It may be necessary to gut the entire home and start from scratch in some cases. It is usually reserved for severe flooding cases.
You can help protect your home from flooding and water damage by taking these precautions. However, remember that no measure is 100% effective, so be prepared for the worst. If you experience a flood, follow the advice of local officials to ensure your safety.
Water damage is one of the most common forms of home damage, and it can be incredibly costly to repair. In this article, we’ve outlined a few ways that you can protect your home from flooding. If you live in an area prone to flooding, you must take these precautions to protect your home and belongings. If you still have any questions about how to protect your home from flooding, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to help!