A flooded kitchen in a Washington, DC house.

How to Prevent Flood Damage at Home

With every storm comes infinite concerns. For those of us located between the two rivers in Washington, DC, the threat of flooding is, unfortunately, always a possibility. Luckily, there are always ways to stay ahead of floodwaters damage by making minor home improvements or significant renovations to your home.

No matter your budget, here are some ways to protect your home from flooding:

Know the Risks

It’s essential for every homeowner to understand if they are in a high-risk flood zone. However, you might not necessarily know how well your house was built to endure a flood. 

You can speak with a flood insurance agent to determine the flood risk of your home. Homes built above the flood level are better suited to preventing flood damage.

After a storm, evaluate surface runoff and see if the water flows toward or away from your home. This evaluation can help determine if water will enter your house during a flood. An assessment like this can help you understand which parts of your house can benefit from dry-proofing.

Prepare Your Home

Don’t wait until the last minute! The easiest way to prevent flood damage to your home is to make preparations well before a storm hits.

Floods can cause water backups from sewers. However, you can prevent a sewer backup by installing either an interior or exterior backflow prevention valve. The licensed team at Magnolia can help with all your plumbing needs.

There are also many inexpensive ways to protect your home from flooding, including:

  • Cleaning out eavestroughs (or rain gutters)
  • Pointing gutter runoff away from your house
  • Reinforcing your roof to prevent leaks
  • Maintaining space between mulch and siding
  • Gathering building materials (lumber, nails, sandbags, etc.)

Consider Flood-Proof Renovations

There are many ways to invest in your home to prevent flood damage. Not only will you be safe, but preventative measures can also increase the value of your home.

Install a Sump Pump

Sump pumps are often installed in homes with basements that flood often. It’s a great idea to have a professional install a transfer switch or battery backup on a sump pump. You never know if there’s going to be a power outage.

If your sump pump is not functioning properly and you need to contact an emergency plumber, Magnolia provides 24-hour emergency plumbing. Magnolia offers a variety of sump pump services, such as sump pump installation and maintenance.

Raise Your House on Stilts

If your house is not above flood level, raising your home on stilts can prevent flood damage. Of course, this will take a lot of work, but it’s worth the investment to make sure your house is above flood level. Even minor water damage can cause significant damage to your home.

Dry-Flood Proof Your Home

Applying coatings and sealants to your home’s walls, windows, doorways, and foundation can prevent floodwater from seeping through cracks. This is a tiny fix and a great way to prevent flood damage.

Elevate Appliances

Your home’s internal and external appliances can be elevated by placing them on concrete blocks. This is an inexpensive way to protect the valuable items in your home.

Some appliances you should elevate include:

  • Air conditioners
  • Generators
  • Water Heaters

Last-Minute Prep

These tips are great to prevent your home from flooding in the future, but what if a storm is happening soon?

Floods can happen at any time, which means preparations for floodwaters can be unexpected. There are many ways to protect your home from flooding last minute, including:

  1. Moving Valuables to Higher Ground: Move belongings such as rugs, electronics, and furniture to a higher floor in your home. You can also transport them to a location where they will be safe.
  2. Use Sandbags: Place sandbags around any cracks and gaps in your home. This can divert water away from your foundation.
  3. Turn on Sump Pump: Your sump pump will work to remove water quickly from your basement. This will also protect your home from flooding.
  4. Turn Off Electricity: If water has the possibility of reaching your electrical system, locate your breaker panel and shut off the electricity.

Additionally, purchasing flood insurance is always an option. If you plan to purchase flood insurance, make sure to take photos or videos of flood damage.
Prevention and maintenance are key to prevent your home from flooding. Thinking about potential floods can be stressful. However, you don’t have to prevent flood damage all alone. Reach out to an emergency plumber in Washington, DC at Magnolia for any plumbing needs you may have.