Whether you are building a home in a flood-prone area or just moved into one and are realizing that it doesn't have many safeguards against flooding, then you may be wondering what your flood prevention options are. Of course, you cannot control the weather, but by taking the right flood prevention steps, you can minimize the impact that water from storm surges, flash floods, and even heavy rain will have on the integrity of your home.
While it is important to speak to a professional at a flood prevention service to find out what all of your options are in your area, read on to learn about three ways you can protect your home from flooding when you live in a flood-prone area of the country.
1. Invest in House Lifting
If your home is not lifted (often referred to as "on stilts"), then you may think that having it lifted after it has already been built is simply not an option. Fortunately, it is an option, and having your house lifted is a great way to protect it from flood damage. While having your house lifted, or having its foundation raised, is one of the pricier flood prevention options, your house is virtually immune to flood damage after it is lifted onto columns, so it is a great investment if you plan to live in your home for many years.
While you may think that having it lifted is something to consider only after enduring your first flood, if that flood damages your home's foundation, then it will make the lifting process more time and labor intensive. That makes it best to have it lifted before your home ever floods.
2. Install Home Flood Vents
If you are not yet ready to invest in foundation raising, then another option is to have flood vents installed in your home. Flood vents are positioned on your foundation walls, just a few inches from the ground, and when it floods, they let water into your crawlspace. While at first thought, you may think that intentionally letting more water into your home during a flood is the last thing you would want to do, doing so can actually protect the integrity of your entire home. When strong waters are pushing against your home, such as during a hurricane storm surge, they emit less pressure on your home when you have flood vents installed.
Flood vents keep the water pressure inside and outside of your home relatively equal, which can keep windows from breaking, prevent foundation damage, and even keep your entire home from collapsing. They are relatively common in flood-prone areas of the country, and having flood vents can even help you lower your home insurance premiums.
3. Have Your Basement Waterproofed
If you live in a home that has a basement, then having your basement waterproofed is one of the most important steps to take if you have a basement in a flood-prone area of the country. Waterproofing your basement will keep water from seeping through the cracks of your basement walls, which can both damage the walls and lead to mold and mildew growth in your basement.
There are two main types of basement waterproofing—interior and exterior. Exterior waterproofing provides superior protection against basement water damage from flooding, while interior waterproofing is an option if you need a more affordable solution. To waterproof your basement from the exterior, a slim trench is dug around your home to reveal the outside of your basement walls. Then, the walls are cleaned and a waterproof membrane is applied to them. After the membrane has dried, the trench is refilled with soil.
To waterproof your basement from the interior, a waterproof sealant is applied to the inside of your basement walls. An additional service that many basement waterproofing companies offer is a water-drainage system that works to pull excess water away from your home's foundation. These systems vary, but they can save your basement from water damage during heavy rains and mild flooding.
If you are building a home in a flood-prone area or just moved into one, then realize that flood prevention services offer many options to help save your home from water damage if flooding does occur. Consider one or all of the above flood precautions to feel better that your home will still be standing and in good condition if a flood does occur.