Over 14% of properties in the USA are at risk of flooding within the next decade and this number is much higher when looking at the Kansas City area alone. On top of that, the chances of flooding will continue to climb as the climate follows this trajectory of getting more extreme, resulting in unbelievable amounts of water damage and unexpected, likely uninsured expense to homeowners.
Your property doesn’t have to be at risk if you can plan carefully. These are some of the top dangers to a property and what you can do to protect yourself and your home from them.
Protect from Flooding
Flooding is the most obvious risk that many are aware of. Not only does it have the power to bring on tens of thousands of dollars of damage, but it’s also incredibly hard to predict. Externally, it can be caused by the weather or a broken city main. But more often than not, it’s failed pipes, fixtures, or appliances within your home that can bring on hundreds of gallons of water in just a few short hours.
The most important part of protecting your home and ensuring your basement and lower parts of your property don’t turn into swimming pools, is to install a sump pump. A sump pump is a device that will remove water as it pours in and is usually installed at the lowest point of your home in a sump pit. Oftentimes, this is a basement or crawl space so it’s not in the way but can also be put in a utility closet of a single-level home. Installing a sump pump involves a relatively unintrusive process of jackhammering up the concrete and digging a 2’ wide by 3’ deep hole, putting in a plastic sump pit that allows water to seep into it, and installing a sump pump in the pit that will then pump the water out of the house to the most appropriate drainage location. Installing a sump pump is inexpensive and the best way to ensure your home doesn’t flood.
Protect from Foundational Damage
The concrete foundation of your home is the most important part of it. If it cracks, buckles, sinks, or has any other issues: this will affect your entire property. Large amounts of water – usually from a heavy rain or main break – will always find a way to flow, carving its way through the ground and pooling under the house and against the walls of your foundation. This can shift the foundation and cause cracks over time.
Cracks don’t happen in home foundations if there’s no pressure from water against them in the first place. The easiest preventative measures are cleaning your gutters and installing a sump pump. Just these two things can protect you from the costly $20,000+ repairs foundational damage can lead to and are important steps of damp proofing.
Protect from Lawn Flooding
Drainage is one of the most important parts of moisture protection for any property. Beyond the power of a sump pump, it’s also smart to ensure you have good guttering on your home and drainage at ground level to ensure your yard doesn’t flood.
Trench drains and dry creek beds allow you to move large amounts of water through a line of dug-out yard that creates a long flat surface for water to drain down and off the property. This is often finished with cement and guides water directly to a drain or other area where it can be moved efficiently away from the property.
Although your sump pump will pull a lot of water away, you should also consider putting in a rain garden. These gardens are made up of a mix of strategically placed and picked plants that absorb as much water as possible. Mixing smaller and larger plants with different root systems helps fight back against flooding, soil disruption, and oversaturation while also giving your yard a beautiful green area to improve curb appeal.
Protect from Damaged Driveways
Replacing your driveway can cost between five and ten thousand dollars, depending on the amount of damage and the paving material used. If you allow standing water to stay on your driveway, cracks will form on the surface and make it uneven over time. Using well-placed trench drains at the pooling point/s is an awesome way to ensure this problem doesn’t happen. Not only will these drains stop your driveway from cracking, but they’ll also make it so that your vehicle won’t carry as much moisture into your garage when you park in it after a rainy day.
Protect from Moisture in the Air
Although it’s not as obvious as flooding damage, extra moisture in your air can cause a lot of damage as well. Consider installing a dehumidifier or exhaust fan in areas where moisture is the worst. On your home’s outside, you can use tools like moisture-resistant exterior paint to keep your home safe from the humid environment it’s in. Although you should still look into a sump pump if you’re in a humid area, this will keep your property looking nicer for longer and fight against peeling or wood rot on the exterior.
Every Property Needs to be Protected
Whether you live in an area that’s prone to rain and flooding or a dryer climate where you’re seeing more rain throughout the year now than ever: it’s important to protect your property. Take the time to consider how you can reduce your property’s risk of flooding.
Todd Gillman is the content director for the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.