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How to protect your home against flooding

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Easy ways to help prevent water damage caused by floods.

Every home is at risk for flooding during heavy rainfall periods. Although it is impossible to completely eliminate the possibility of a flood, there are preventative measures that can reduce the chances of a flood and ensure your home is protected in case one occurs. Consider these flood control fixes to help prevent stormwater runoff and flash floods from damaging your home.

1. Foundation

  • Slope soil away from your home's foundation, decks and porches.
  • Look for holes or cracks in your foundation and completely seal these with vinyl concrete patching.
  • Ensure that the downspouts around your home are sloped away from the foundation to allow water to drain away from your home.

2. Eavestroughs

  • In the fall and spring, clean out eavestroughs and downspouts of any debris that might prevent proper drainage.
  • Plug holes or cracks in your eavestroughs, downspouts, downspout extensions and seal these with silicon caulk.
  • Attach a few feet of extra downspout to the bottom of the downspout to ensure runoff is draining far away from your home.

3. Basement

  • If you do not already have one, install a sump pump in your basement. A sump pump will act like a drain and prevent water from building up in the basement.
  • Do not store valuables or important documents in the basement as this is the most common location in households for a flood.
  • Ensure all furniture have legs so that in the case of a flood, furniture fabric will not accumulate or absorb any flood water.

4. Sewer Line

  • Consider having a backwater valve (or backflow preventer) installed onto your home's sewer line by a professional. In the event of a back-up, the valve automatically closes to prevent water and sewage from entering your home.
  • Ensure that the backwater valve is properly installed to ensure sewage and water is stopped and not able to enter through other outlets in your basement, such as a sink, toilet or shower.

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The contents of this webpage are provided for general informational purposes only. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability or accuracy of the information as it relates to your circumstances. Any action you take upon the information provided is strictly at your own risk. This information is not a substitute for, and is not intended to replace, independent professional advice. It is your responsibility to take all safety precautions and to refer to the product manufacturer's instructions or contact a licensed technician, as appropriate.