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How to Protect Your Home from Inland Flooding From Lakes and Rivers

You’ve seen the pictures of homes situated on the shoreline of the sea or lakes with their yards being swept away by the rising surf. One would expect that houses and structures on the water are at extreme risk for flooding during extreme weather events. But these properties aren’t the only ones in the line of fire. In fact, the annual cost of damage resulting from inland floods is greater than that of coastal flooding—or any other extreme weather event, for that matter.

This means that just because you aren’t living at the sea, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare your home for flooding. In fact, according to FEMA, around 25 percent of all flood insurance claims come from areas with a low to moderate flood risk. Inland flooding is the most common type of weather event that causes loss of both property and life. This is largely due to the fact that many people living inland assume they aren’t as risk for flooding. However, that’s simply not true.

How Can I Protect My Home from Flooding?

The very best way to protect your home from inland flooding is to prepare for the waters before they rise. Even if your risk for flooding is very, very low according to flood records and maps, there is always a chance that your home can flood. And when it does, you want to have taken every step to ensure you’ve protected your home and everyone living in it.

Even if you’re situated in the middle of the continental United States, there’s still a high chance you’ll be affected by inland flooding. Over 40 percent of the population lives in counties with levees, many of which were built decades ago and are losing structural integrity. Lakes are peppered throughout our country, with homes, subdivisions, and cities built in close proximity to these bodies of water. While our rivers and lakes are things of beauty and add value to your property, when heavy rainfall brings a deluge of water into these ecosystems, that means danger for homeowners. We can observe the aftermath of 2017 Hurricane Harvey on the city of Houston and surrounding Texas communities—and other southern states— to see the terrible and very real impact of inland flooding.

When you’re looking for ways to protect your home from inland flooding, there are many ways you can prepare.

Flood Insurance – Your first step to prepare yourself for inland flooding is to purchase flood insurance. Your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover damage caused by a flood, which means that even just a few inches of water seeping into your home could result in serious costs.

Protect Utilities – Homeowners should also elevate appliances when possible. Anything resting on the lowest level of your home is susceptible to flood damage. Your utilities, HVAC unit, and other equipment can be brought to higher levels or built up on platforms to protect them if flooding does occur.

Direct Water Flow – A simple way to protect your home against flooding is by directing water flow from your foundation. You can do this by extending downspouts away from your home and sloping the ground near your home away from the foundation so the water easily runs off.

Elevate Your Home

Another—and highly effective—means of protecting your home from inland elevating your home. The best way to prevent your home from flooding is to make sure no water is going to enter into your home in the first place. Having your home lifted is a sure-fire way to make sure everything down to the foundation of your home will remain dry, even if waters rise feet above the ground.

When you choose to lift your home, you work with a lifting contractor who specializes in raising the foundation of your home anywhere from a few inches to many feet. Your contractors will lift your home, typically using hydraulic jacks, then add new support under your foundation. This enables your home and your belongings to stay totally dry, even if flooding comes unexpectedly, quickly, and rises to high levels—as flash flooding often does.

Conclusion

Inland flooding is a serious threat to homeowners across the country. In fact, low-risk and inland areas are responsible for the nation’s highest rates of flooding. While there are many steps you can take to reduce or stave off flood damage, the most effective way to protect your home from inland flooding is by hiring a professional home elevation contractor. By raising your home above flood levels—or higher—you’re taking every precaution to ensure that your home and your family will be safe no matter how high flood waters rise.

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