Anywhere it rains, it can flood. You don’t have to live right on the coast or near on a lake to be in danger of flooding. We can’t always prevent flooding from impacting our home, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to prevent as much damage as possible.
Here are a few ways to protect your home from flood damage.
CLEAN YOUR GUTTERS
It sounds simple but it’s one of the most overlooked precautions you can take. Well-functioning gutters move water away from your home. Dirty, clogged gutters don’t, which leads to erosion, basement flooding, and even foundation damage.
PUT UP RETAINING WALLS
Retaining walls are designed to hold soil in place and prevent erosion. They’re commonly used to build flower beds, but they can also deter some flood water and act as a barrier between your home and rising water. You can DIY it with supplies from a local home improvement store or hire someone to do it for you.
RETHINK YOUR DRIVEWAY
Many driveways are made of conventional asphalt or concrete pavement blocks. They look nice, but they’re awful for flooding because they don’t allow water to seep into the ground. Consider permeable pavement, paving stones, grass pave, or gravel instead to give excess water a place to go.
INSTALL A SUMP PUMP
A sump pump is designed to divert water away from your home. It kicks on once the ground water rises to a certain level. While it can’t take on all flooding situations, it can prevent minor floods from causing extensive and expensive damage.
ELEVATE YOUR HVAC
When we think of flood damage, we usually imagine gutted homes needing new drywall, studs, and all new furniture. But HVAC units are vulnerable even in minor flooding. Move your HVAC unit to higher ground or install it on an elevated platform to keep it safe from rising waters and prevent an expensive repair or replacement later.
Now that spring has arrived, you may be ready to get out into the yard and work. This year, do a few things differently to guard against flooding. Use more mulch which can absorb some excess water. Dig swales, or depressions, around your yard to channel stormwater runoff away from your home. Put a rain barrel under your gutter downspout to catch water and reduce basement flooding.
EVALUATE YOUR FLOOD RISK BEFORE YOU BUY
If buying a new home is on your list this year, protect yourself from flooding by finding out what kind of flood risk the property you’re looking at has. Remember, it can flood anywhere, but if you’re considering a home that floods during every rainstorm, you might want to look elsewhere. Check FEMA’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps and ask the sellers or neighbors about flooding.
BUY FLOOD INSURANCE
Your standard North Carolina home insurance policy does not protect you from flooding. When even your best efforts fail, and your home floods, you need a policy that will help you repair and rebuild. And yes, even if you’re outside of high risk areas, you still need coverage. There’s a 30 day waiting period before it goes into effect so buying it sooner rather than later is always best. If you’re buying a new home in a high risk area with a federally-backed mortgage lender, the waiting period is waived when you purchase your home.
Flood insurance policies are backed by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and you can purchase a policy through your independent insurance agent. At Charlotte Insurance, we want to help you protect what matters most. Call us today for a flood insurance policy quote.