While living in a waterfront home may have many perks, you're nearly always faced with the possibility of flooding. Spring rains and thaws and the increasing problem of nuisance flooding due to global weather changes may have you running for the hills. However, since you probably don't want to give up your home, you need to prepare for possible floods that may find their way into your basement and beyond.
1. Have a Source of Emergency Power
Your home should have at least a small generator on hand in the event of power failure, at the very least to keep essential equipment running. If you don't want to go out and spend a lot of money for a huge and powerful machine, consider your options with DIY generators or second-hand models; just don't leave yourself without some form of back-up power.
2. Invest in a Sump Pump and/or Wet-Dry Vac
Sump pumps are a fantastic way to control the water building up in your basement, and if you're living near a body of water, your home should definitely have one. A wet-vac will also come in handy for water removal, but look for one that works on regular floors, too, so you don't have to sink too much money into multiple devices.
3. Make Sure You Have the Right Insurance and Adequate Coverage
Waterfront property may require a different type of insurance and in some places, additional insurance is needed for wind and other potential catastrophes. Check with your agent to make certain you're completely covered for whatever may happen in your area.
4. Consider Altering Your Landscape to Divert the Flow of Water
The landscape grade of your property should run away from your house, diverting water in the opposite direction. Make sure downspouts are pointed away from your home, too. When it's pouring buckets, but is safe to venture outside, see if you can spot any significant pools of water or streams running to your house. Once the weather clears, you should then have a landscaper remedy any potential problems you observed.
5. Have an Emergency Survival Kit on Hand
Because you may be left without electricity or stranded in one area of the home for an extended period, make sure you have an emergency pack handy. It should contain a 24-hour food supply, basic first-aid equipment, a flashlight, and a radio.
6. Water-Proof Your Important Documents
Either purchase a water-proof safe, transfer the documents to a safe-deposit box, or upload them to a secure place in the online cloud. Whatever method you choose, at least you can be sure no flood can take the most important paperwork of your life away.
7. Anchor the Tanks in Your Basement
Any tank standing in your basement could be shifted or taken completely off it's standing position by moving flood waters. See that these important, expensive, and potentially dangerous items are secured.
8. Understand What Flood Warnings Indicate
Listening to flood warnings can be confusing, so be sure to catch the words carefully. If they say "watch," then you know conditions are right and a flood is possible. If they say "warning," a flood is ongoing, and you need to take appropriate actions.
9. Know the Rules of Cleanup
When you're facing the aftermath of a flooded basement, your first reaction may be to jump right in and start cleaning; however, for safety's sake, you should be aware of the proper protocol in this situation:
- Turn off your main power to avoid electrocution. It may be necessary to call an electrician if the water is deep or there are power problems.
- Turn off the gas, if you have it, too.
- Start draining or pumping the water out, and finish the process with a wet-dry vacuum.
- Equip yourself with rubber gloves, boots, and a breathing mask.
- Assess the damage and contact your insurer right away.
- Remove your most valuable items, if they can be saved.
- Call a water damage restoration service.
Hopefully, the damage to your property and belongings will be limited and you'll be able to salvage a lot of things. If this situation occurs, you will instantly realize how smart you were to have a plan for flooding and to have taken preventative steps.
10. Get to Know a Cleanup Service Now
Because you live in a high-risk area, possible flooding will always be hanging over your head like a dark cloud, just waiting to drop that rain. Start calling water damage cleaning services now to be even more prepared. They'll be more than happy to offer you tips and may be able to give generalized quotes for costs. While just having a dependable service on speed-dial will put your mind at ease, if you're still worrying too much, consider having a professional come to your home to further assess the property and make recommendations. Give companies like Boss Systems Carpet Cleaning a call for more information.
Continue to enjoy the perks of living in your waterfront home, but be aware of the conditions which can result in danger and damage. As with most things, having a plan and being prepared will save you a lot of time, trouble, and money, at the very least.