15 Aug How to Protect Your Illinois Home from Flooding
No other type of natural disaster has caused more destruction and death in the U.S. than floods.
Flash flooding and short but heavy rains have become a growing concern in Illinois. Most people tend to overlook the importance of protecting their homes only to lose their highly valued property in a single event.
All homes need flood-proofing, including those on a hill. Read on to find out how you can protect your Illinois home from flooding.
Modify Water Valves
If your sewer system is flooded, it may cause leakage of sewage into your home. It is advisable to install an exterior or interior backflow valve. FLASH (the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes) recommends the installation of gate valves. Although they are more complex, they are stronger than check valves.
Install valves on all pipes entering your house. Look for downspouts that were moved or fell off during winter. Ensure that they all direct water away from the foundation. Always hire professionals to clean your gutters regularly. Usually, leaves cause the blockage of gutters.
Check the Sump Pump(s)
Whenever it rains, check your sump pump to confirm that it’s working. You don’t have to wait for rain to test it; here is a manual way of doing it: remove the lid from the pump and slowly pour water onto it. The sump pump should kick and begin pumping the water. If it doesn’t, call a plumber before the rains begin.
Always ensure your sump pump is working correctly!
Flooding usually begins where your sump pump is located. Store everything in a plastic bin or off the floor.
Carry Flood Insurance
The conventional homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover damages caused by floods. If you have a home mortgage, ensure that you carry flood insurance. This is the best way to ensure that you’re compensated in case of any significant damage.
What if you live in a rented house in Illinois? Obtain an insurance cover for your possessions. Talk to an insurance agent or check out the FEMA website for information on how you can keep your property safe.
Clean out the Window Wells
Have you installed below-grade windows? Remember to remove the twigs, leaves, and debris that have already accumulated. Debris can allow water to pool and seep into the house. Some homeowners prefer using covers or well grates. It’s wise to take such measures, but keep debris away at all times.
Weak Points Identification
Regularly inspect your home for weak spots and capitalize on them. Are there any cracks or leaks that need to be fixed immediately? Check your doors and windows as well. Conduct roof inspection to identify leaks. Checking your roof will minimize the chances of water flooding your house.
Examine the flood risk carefully if you’re buying a new home. Check if an insurance company will cover you and how much you have to pay. The insurance premium will be higher if your home is at high risk of flooding.
Sign up to the ‘Flood Warning System’
Once you sign up, you’ll be notified in case of active flood warnings. The Environment Agency manages floods from reservoirs, the sea, the main rivers, and estuaries, and warns people. This is the quickest way to get updates and prepare in advance. Information is also easily accessible.
You can check data by visiting their ‘flood warning summary’ page. During peak seasons, the page gets refreshed at intervals of 15 minutes.
Use Highly Resistant Products
It’s wise to prevent water from entering your home. Traditionally, plastic sheeting and sandbags were used for that purpose. However, such methods are less effective than modern long-term alternatives. They are not only tricky to dispose of but also occupy a lot of space.
Keep sandbags on hand when there is a risk of flooding. Other reliable preventive measures include flood-resistant windows and doors, self-sealing airbricks, and water-resistant barriers.
Airbrick covers and self-sealing airbricks don’t disappoint. Make sure that airbricks are sealed to prevent water from entering your home. Remove covers after the flooding period has passed to allow bricks to dry out.
Flood resistant windows and doors withstand the impact of debris and water when it floods. These barriers are designed to create a water-resistant seal of your home. The Initial installation cost might be high but they are a worthy investment.
With the above measures, there is no doubt that you’ll protect your Illinois home from flooding. Contact us to get professional assistance. We’ll not only protect your property against damage, but we’ll give you peace of mind during the rainy seasons.