Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Reduce Your Risk: How to Prepare Your Home for a Flood

Floods are happening more than most homes can handle and for the safety of our homes
and families, it's important to be prepared. At Unique Home Building, our contractors are trained to deliver professional, high quality work. As you see things need to be done, be sure to have them done right by a skilled and licensed contractor. In this hard time in Texas, please send your prayers and love to the many families devastated by the recent flooding, and take further precautions to protect yours.

Reduce Your Risk: How to Prepare Your Home for a Flood
How to prepare your home for a flood: 

  • Hire a licensed electrician to raise all electric components at least 12 inches above the expected flood levels for your area to avoid electricity connecting with water. 
  • If your home has a basement, it is wise to hire a licensed plumber or specialized contractor, to install an additional back flow valve, to help prevent any sewage from backing up into your basement as a result of a flooded sewer system. However, this won’t be very helpful if flood waters pour into your basement or house, but would be useful in instances where more minor flooding affects the sewage system, but not your actual house.
  • Make sure the slope of your slope directs water away from the building.
  • Be sure to anchor your fuel tanks, otherwise, they can be torn free by floodwaters, and the broken supply line can cause contamination or be swept downstream and damage other properties. 
  • Create an evacuation kit, complete with all important papers, phone numbers, insurance documents, medications and other important things you may need, in the case of sudden emergency or evacuation.

When a flood is about to hit:

If you find out that a flood is about to hit, you'll be thankful you followed the above steps well. It's still good to act fast, and make sure the following list is completed:

  • Clear all property drains, gutters and down spouts of debris and roughage.
  • Roll up an and all area rugs, and store them on higher floors or elevations of the home. This will help avoid the likelihood of rugs getting wet and growing mold. 
  • Make sure all damageable furniture and electronics off the floor, particularly in basements and first floor levels. 
  • Place all appliances, including stove, washer and dryer on masonry blocks or concrete at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation.
  • Have your evacuation kit prepared and ready (with all important papers, phone numbers, insurance documents, medications and other important things you may need) just in case your are forced to be away from your home or business for several days.
  • Have an inspection done on your pumps and drains to ensure proper operation. If a pump has a battery backup, make sure it is stocked with fresh batteries.
  • Shut off your electrical service at the main breaker if the electrical system and outlets are likely to be under water.

After the flood:

  • You want to act quickly to decrease the odds of loosing furniture and accumulating rust, mold, or structural problems. 
  • As soon as it's dry and safe enough, disconnect all electronics/electrical equipment and move them to a dry location.
  • Try to remove as much of the standing water as possible from inside the building using buckets and high absorbency towels. 
  • Ventilate all wet areas with fans or use dehumidifiers to dry out the house once electrical outlets are safe to use.
Floods are happening more often than we realize and it's so important to be prepared. Take the steps today to see what your home needs to be better prepared for a flood or other natural disaster and remember, the contractors at Unique Home Building are only a phone call away. 

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