If you’re a homeowner, flood prep and mitigation should never be an afterthought. Even if your property is technically at a low risk for flooding, you’re still at risk. Roughly twenty-five percent of all flood insurance claims come from areas that aren’t in the high-risk category. The numbers don’t lie. Because flooding is one of the most costly natural disasters across the US, you will do well to be aware of your options.
There are many flood services and flood mitigation services available—all of varying costs and degrees of involvement. Below, we outline different flood services and flood mitigation options that will help you protect your properties from flood damage.
Flood Mitigation Services
Flood mitigation involves managing and controlling flood waters. If you have the option for flood mitigation, great! That means you are proactively working to reduce or eliminate flood damage all together. We’ve outlined a few flood mitigation options for you below.
Flood Mitigation Consulting
Chances are, you probably have questions about how and even if to put a flood mitigation plan in place. With different advice coming from different camps across the internet, it’s wise to solicit help from flood mitigation consultants. These firms are specifically trained to help you evaluate how best to prevent flooding in your home and on your property, as well as advise on the best ways to redirect floodwaters when they do come.
Sometimes effective methods of flood mitigation don’t have to be costly or invasive. Enter the sandbag. Sandbagging around your foundation, and especially around doors, is a tried and true method of flood mitigation. Though it’s usually nerve-wracking in the moment, sandbags are used to reduce or eliminate water damage in some less serious flooding scenarios.
Flood proofing your home is a great way to minimize the impact of flood damage to the contents of your house. Flood proofing can look like elevating your water heater, furnace, and electric panel high enough that it’s out of harms way. You can also install check valves to prevent water from backing up into your home. And if you have a basement, you can seal those walls with a waterproofing agent. These types of flood proofing are lower cost avenues to reduce the damage that can happen if water surrounds your home and threatens to rush in.
Bar none, the most effective form of flood mitigation and prevention is having your home lifted by a professional lifting contractor. FEMA suggests building your home above the base flood elevation for your area—the anticipated level of flooding. But if your home is already built, you always have the option to lift it to a safe level.
If you’re working with an experienced and professional contractor, your home lift should be no problem. Typically, homes are lifted on hydraulic jacks, inch by inch, until they reach the desired height. At that point, your contractor will secure your home and ensure it’s safe for you to live in. Though each type of house and foundation system must be approached differently, a professional lifter should be able to take care of your house lift with no issues.
Unfortunately, you can’t always predict when and how a flood will impact your house or your property. But you do have options if your home has undergone flood damage. You are aware of taking care of the flood damage you can see, like wet sheetrock or buckled flooring. But what about the damage you can’t see? We’ve outlined a couple of services you’ll want to consider if you have flood damage in your home.
Unfortunately, mold can start growing in your home even before you’ve had the chance to survey the damage. According to FEMA, mold can begin growing within 24 hours after a flood event. No matter how little water made its way across your threshold, if you had any standing water on your carpets or against your drywall, you will want to contact a mold remediation specialist right away. Not only can they recommend next steps, but they have the tools and chemicals necessary to stop and prevent mold growth.
“Out of sight, out of mind” is the dangerous reality of a lot of flood damage, especially when you consider what your foundation goes through. Your foundation can suffer greatly due to a flood. Most foundations are affected by flooding in two ways: rushing water moving the soil surrounding your foundation and damaging its structure and by water seeping into preexisting cracks. Both can cause serious, long-lasting damage. Whether you need to replace your foundation, or if it can be fixed with repairs, finding a foundation repair contractor who can do that for you sooner rather than later will pay off in the long run.
Flooding is serious and can totally destroy homes in a matter of hours or even minutes. If or when your home is under the threat of rising water, you’ll want to have all of the knowledge and planning resources at your fingertips so you can prevent flooding before it happens, mitigate loss, and then recover with flooding services should your home undergo any damage.