Flood Damage

water20040115aA friend of mine recently went down into her basement after a particularly big thunderstorm only to discover that her basement was flooded. The water was practically up to her ankles and she was shocked and upset to say the least. She had many stored boxes of trinkets and mementos over the years and most of it was ruined.

It did, however, bring to mind several things you should do to prepare yourself for flood damage if it should occur. Even if you aren’t in an area where flooding usually happens, you should still take precautions.

The first is to store your mementos in plastic containers. So many people use their moving boxes to store things in and along comes a flood and everything is ruined. It’s worth your time and money to get some plastic containers and pack everything in. If it’s extremely important, consider not leaving it in the basement at all.

Second, you should get your house inspected. If your house is newly built, then make sure that the builders are following the correct procedures to make sure your house is flood safe. You can have an inspector come in and look at your house, in particular, the foundation and make sure that everything is up to code. An inspection may cost you some money, but it’s a way to ensure that you won’t have to deal with flood damage.

Also, make sure, where possible, that things like your electrical panel, air conditioner, etc are at least twelve inches above flood elevation. Sometimes it’s not possible to have things like your washer and dryer up higher than the ground, but if you do get the chance, then you should try to do this, as it will keep your washer and dryer in better condition.

Make sure you clean your drains and gutters regularly. Debris in drains and gutters prevent the free flow of water and contribute to flooding. Your downspouts should be at least six feet away from your house to avoid excessive flooding.

Another tip is to install ground fault circuit interrupters. This will prevent dangerous electrical hazards.

Finally, make sure you have flooring that is water resistant. If you have carpet in your basement it will be less easy to get dry and it’s possible that mold will occur.

Following these steps will ensure that you are protected from flood damage. When in doubt, put your prized possessions somewhere else other than the basement. This way you can protect your treasured memories.

Had my friend followed even a few of these steps, she wouldn’t have as much damage as she did. Losing your things in a flood definitely wakes you up to changes that you can make in your house. I hope that you will consider making these changes so that you don’t have a similar situation happen to you.

Remember, flooding is bound to happen, even if you aren’t in a high risk area. So it’s important that you take the proper steps to prevent anything bad from happening.

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