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It’s every homeowner’s nightmare to open the door to their basement and see that the entire level is flooded. You’re no different. You definitely don’t want to deal with basement flooding and the financial consequences that come with it.
So, what can you do to protect your house against flooding?
Get a Sump Pump:
Sump pumps are flood prevention devices that collect groundwater from under the house and redirect it away from the foundation. It’s effective for preventing basement floods during heavy rainstorms and times of snowmelt when more moisture gets into the soil around your house.
Make sure that your sump pump has a backup power source. Heavy storms can knock out your home’s power, turning off your sump pump when you need it most.
Get a Backwater Valve:
A backwater valve can prevent basement flooding from sewer backup. The valve is attached to the home’s mainline and contains a flap that allows wastewater to exit and blocks it from returning.
Extend Your Downspout:
Every house is fitted with rain gutters that collect rainwater and direct it away from the home’s foundation via downspout. The downspout should extend at least four feet away from the house. If you find that water is pooling too close to the house, you can add an extension or get a splash block.
Clean Your Gutters:
You should also keep your gutters clear of leaves, sticks and other debris. Clogged gutters will send rainwater down the siding and toward your foundation, which can cause basement flooding. Clean your gutters at least twice a year, in the spring and the fall.
Grade Your Yard:
Your house should have a yard that slopes away from the house. The slope will direct water downward and far from the foundation. If your yard slopes toward the house, you should call professionals to grade your yard and fix the slope to minimize the risk of basement flooding.
Insulate Your Pipes:
If you live in a climate that gets very cold during the winter, then you should insulate your exposed water pipes — this is especially important for areas with limited insulation, like basements and crawl spaces. Without insulation, these pipes could freeze and burst when the temperatures drop.
Preparing for the Costs of Flooding
Even after making all of these home improvements, you still can’t be 100% confident that your basement will stay dry. You should make financial preparations just in case your protections fall through and your house floods.
Start by getting insurance coverage to help you manage the costs of water damage once the flood has subsided. Standard homeowner’s insurance only covers certain instances of flooding, like flooding from a burst pipe. It doesn’t cover overland flooding. So, if rainwater, runoff from melted snow or overflow from a nearby lake/river makes its way into your basement, you might not get any help.
As a solution, check with your insurance policy to see whether you can get additional coverage for different types of flooding. You will want to cover all of your bases.
Next, you’ll want to set up an emergency fund. An emergency fund is a collection of personal savings reserved for urgent, unplanned expenses — expenses like repairs you would need after a basement flood.
What if you don’t have enough savings? If you need additional help with emergency expenses because you don’t have enough savings, you could apply for a loan. As long as you meet the qualifications, you could apply for this emergency loan online and wait to see whether you get approved. With an approval, you could use the borrowed funds to cover the emergency expense in a short amount of time.
Make these preparations for basement flooding now. It’s better to be safe than sorry.