According to our mold remediation specialist, June marks the start of hurricane season. Hurricane Sandy showed us that New York is not immune to the powerful storms. While wind damage can wreak havoc on power lines and trees, the real danger to Long Island homes is flooding.
If you live in a flood zone, make sure you carry the proper insurance for flood. Many homeowners find out much too late that they did not have the coverage for the massive and costly damage to their homes.
There isn’t much you can do once the flood waters hit. Once the water reaches the level of your floor and goes an inch above, you have significant damage. There are steps you can take to mitigate the damage done to your home.
- Safeguard in-home electrical and climate systems
Raise switches, sockets, circuit breakers and wiring at least a foot above the expected flood level in your area.
Modify your furnace, water heater and any other anchored indoor equipment so that it sits above your property’s flood level.
Anchor and raise outdoor equipment
Fuel tanks, air-conditioning units and generators should be anchored and raised above your flood level.
Modify water valves
A flooded sewer system can cause sewage to back up into your home. Installing an interior or exterior backflow valve can help mitigate that.
- Determine how water flows around your house
Called the grading or slope, the angle of the ground can direct water to or from your house.
It’s best if the home was built so that water drains away from the building.
- Take Drastic Action
If your home floods frequently and moving isn’t an option, you may need to take drastic and costly measures.
Raise your home on piers or columns so that the lowest floor is above the flood level
“Wet-proof” your home by installing foundation vents that would allow water to flow through the building, instead of rising inside and causing more damage. You’d need at least two vents on different walls.
Do some “dry proofing” by applying coatings and other sealing materials to your walls to keep out floods.
- Take last-minute measures as waters rise
Clear gutters, drains and downspouts.
Move furniture, rugs, electronics and other belongings to upper floors, or at least raise them off a ground floor.
Shut off electricity at the breaker panel.
Elevate major appliances onto concrete blocks if they’re potentially in harm’s way from flooding.