Unfortunately, flooding is an often unpredictable part of life for many homeowners. Floods don't only happen in flood plains, they can happen during unexpected torrential precipitation, or because of faulty plumbing, too. After the fact, you're probably going to care a lot more about the property damage than the cause of the flood, though. Here are some mistakes some people have made that ended up costing them a fortune after a flood.
Skipping out on Flood Insurance
In most homeowners insurance policies, flood insurance is an optional rider. When you buy a home on a flood plain, you might be required to purchase that rider, but even if you're not on a flood plain, adding it is often a good idea. People living in low to moderate risk flood zones end up submitting more than 20% of all flood insurance claims. Foregoing a flood policy might save you a few dollars each month, but in the event of even a small flood, you're probably going to be forking out a lot more money than your insurance premiums would have cost you.
Not Checking on Flood Plains Updates
You may have learned in school that the landscape is constantly changing. Some areas settle, the courses of rivers and streams change gradually, and storm drain systems are re-routed. Lots of variable factors can change whether your home is in a flood plain, and not paying attention to those changes can result in an unexpected flood. Don't count on your insurance agent to keep you abreast of these changes, check up on your flood status from time to time yourself.
Not Paying Attention to Landscaping
Many homeowners have made the mistake of undertaking large landscaping projects on their own without the right knowledge. For example, it is imperative to slope your yard away from your foundation, especially if you are putting in a hard surface and have a basement. Too many homeowners have added a concrete patio that resulted in a basement flood because it was improperly graded. Before putting in new landscaping, make sure your yard slopes gently away from your foundation by using a level. It's a simple step that can save you big money.
Storing Valuables on the Lowest Level
Some people figure the safest or most convenient place for their unused electronics, family heirlooms, furniture, and keepsakes is out of the way in their basement. That might be true until the sewer backs up, a pipe bursts, or a hundred year rain washes through and wrecks everything. Storing these items above ground level is usually your safest bet. If that isn't possible with your layout, consider a storage unit instead.
Finishing an Unsealed Basement
It makes good financial sense to make the most out of your available square footage and finish a basement. It can be a quick way to add value to your home. Without ensuring a proper water seal, however, you could be asking for trouble. Water can seep in through old, poorly sealed windows, cracks in unsealed foundations, and up through porous concrete floors. Even a few inches of water can result in massive damage to finishes like carpet, drywall, and hardwood flooring. Consulting a contractor about how to get the best water seal for your basement is a necessary step if you want to avoid such disasters.
Dealing with a flood is no one's idea of a good time. They can happen to anyone, anywhere, and often come without warning. That doesn't mean you have to be stuck with an enormous problem. Take a few simple steps toward flood preparedness and you're much less likely to spend your life savings reconstructing your home, life and memories after a flood. Also, make sure you get in touch with a qualified flood damage restoration company.