10 Key Tips for Avoiding Water Damage in a Flood Zone

No one wants to live in a flood zone, but if your home is in one, there’s not much to be done about it. However, you can take steps to minimize or avoid water damage if there is a flood. Her are 10 tips for avoiding water damage in a flood zone.

1.Use Flood Damage-Resistant Building Materials

If you are having a home built in a flood zone, attempt to incorporate as many flood-resistant building materials as possible, such as concrete, brick and cold-formed steel.

2. Install Sewer Backflow Valves

Floods can sometimes cause sewage to back up through drainpipes, clogging plumbing and making water damage even worse. Installing backflow valves block drainpipes temporarily, preventing return flow until the crisis is resolved.

3. Make Sure Electrical System Components Are Above the Likely Water Line

Any electrical system components, like fuse boxes and circuit breaker boxes, can be severely damaged by even slight water damage. Raising these components above the level likely to be reached by floodwaters can help prevent the need to replace electrics after a flood.

4. Know Your Flood Level

Before raising electrical system components, it will help to know how high floodwaters are likely to rise. This is useful information in general, as you can keep all your most valuable items above this level. This information should be available on the FEMA website. Your insurance agent should also be able to obtain this information for you.

5. Don’t Keep Valuables in the Basement

It’s tempting to use the basement as storage for all kinds of items, but you can bet whatever you put down there will be the first things requiring water damage restoration in a flood. Only store items that are resistant to water damage or that are of no great value to you in the basement, like metal folding chairs, for example.

6. Lift Your Home

It’s important to remember that the only real defense against floodwater damage, other than having it repaired by a water-damage restoration contractor, is elevation. The higher you are, the harder it is for floodwaters to get to you. It may seem extreme to put your home up on columns to keep it above flood level, but if you are in an area that sees regular flooding, it may well be worth it.

7. Flood Vents

You can install foundation vents that let water flow through the building instead of consistently rising and rising, causing more and more damage. Depending on how big your house is, quite a few vents may be required.

8. Sandbags

Surrounding your home with sandbags in a flood situation can divert high waters away from your home’s foundation.

9. Sealing

Have all pipes, windows, walls and ceilings inspected for any cracks that may allow excessive water in. When you find them, seal them up with a protective, water-resistant coating.

10. Know Your Water-Damage Restoration Company

If you do sustain water damage, the sooner you take action, the better. Having the name of a water-damage restoration company on hand can mean the difference between saving treasured items and having them lost forever. Contact ServiceMaster Restore, a respected, reliable water-damage restoration company, at 773-219-0686 when you have sustained flood damage to attend to it as quickly as possible.

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