When we hear about home security, we tend to think about burglaries and home invasions. However, there are more things that can happen to jeopardize our home safety. In terms of greater threats to property and life, flooding is second in potential, only to fire. There are several things you can do around your house to minimize the risk of experiencing a flood in your home, including getting flood alerts sent directly to your smartphone or tablet.
Here’s a look at some of the easiest and most reliable things you can do to reduce the likelihood of having your home flood.
Clean Rain Gutters and Down Spouts
Nearly every house in the United States is equipped with rain gutters and down spouts. These are designed to prevent rainwater and melting snow from running down the exterior walls of your house, where it will eventually leak through window sills and finally settling beneath the footings and foundation.
Gutters: In order for gutters to perform as intended, some periodic maintenance is required. Rain gutters must be cleared from debris at least twice each year to ensure water can flow freely to the down spouts.
Additionally, the gutters should be periodically checked for integrity. If they leak at all, over time the errant water will slowly do damage to the exterior of your house and eventually find its way inside. Water is extremely viscous, which means if left unchecked it will erode away even the hardest of materials.
Vinyl coating is an excellent way to prevent leaks, and can be conveniently purchased in spray cans at your local hardware or home improvement store.
Down Spouts: The position of the outlet of the down spout plays in important role in keeping rainwater and snow melt away from your foundation and out of the basement or main level of your home. The farther away the outlet can be placed from the house, within reason of course, the better.
Experts at your local home improvement store can provide guidance on how far away to place the outlet, which can vary depending on the type of soil in the area, the slope and landscaping of your property, whether or not you have a basement, how much it rains and snows each year, and other environmental factors varying by region.
Moving to a New Location
While not often mentioned when it comes to preventing home flooding, choosing an area of your city or state that is less prone to flooding can play a major role in preventing it. If you’re quite concerned about flooding from rising water levels, living in or along valleys, river plateaus, and flood plains, isn’t a good idea for you.
It’s not always practical or feasible to move, but it is worth considering if you are already planning to move or are considering a state or region to start a new career, raise a family, or retire. Of course this method of preventing floods doesn’t remove the possibility of freak storms, burst pipes, or backed up sewers. Other home improvements must be considered no matter where you live.
Invest in Flood Sensors
Modern technology has made it possible for homeowners to purchase flood detection and prevention sensors at reasonable prices. Flood sensors are designed to provide homeowners with the earliest notification possible when water is detected where it shouldn’t be.
Home security companies, including ADT, LifeShield, Protect America, FrontPoint, Vivint, and SimpliSafe, offer home and business owners comprehensive flood prevention solutions that include all the necessary hardware to meet the needs of your specific situation.
Sources of flooding within your house comes from burst or leaking pipes, unattended faucets, dripping AC systems, and corroded softeners. Flood sensors can detect water from these and other sources right away. When integrated into a home security or automation system, alerts can immediately be sent by email or text message to any devices specified.
Earliest notification possible is an excellent way to prevent any further damage by being able to respond quickly and directly at the source of the leak. Knowing exactly where the leak is will save you precious minutes and repair dollars. Automated Shutoff Valves
In addition to flood sensors, automated shutoff valves can spell the difference between manageable and disastrous. An automated shutoff valve is installed in a strategic location, typically near the main water inlet inside your home. Battery powered, automated shutoff valves are in a ready-wait state and instantly shut off the main water inside your home at the moment a flood sensor is activated. Wireless technology ensures a fast signal, even if there are walls and floors between the valve and the sensors.
These devices are relatively inexpensive but should be installed by a skilled plumber or craftsmen knowledgeable in cutting into main water pipes. Installed properly, automated water sensors can play critical role in preventing serious flood damage inside your home. Integrate them into your home security or automation system for ultimate control.
Whatever methods you choose, do something to prevent flooding inside your home. A small flood can remain a manageable situation or can turn into something awful with untold damage including mold, structural integrity, and harming personal items like furniture, electronics, and priceless family heirlooms.
What other tips do you have for how to prevent your home from flooding?
Written by John Roskelley
John is a hockey fan, frequent fisherman, and former Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. He nerds out to finding new gadgets that help keep his family safe. Learn more