Flooding… Long-term Preventive Measures and Precautions

We are in the middle of the flood season. And this year, it has been hitting us hard. Flooding occurs more and more often and this means that we need to redouble our efforts when it comes to taking preventive measures … and adopting certain long-term precautions.

Two reasons explain why flooding is happening on an increasingly frequent basis:

  1. More sudden and heavy rainfalls, as a consequence of climate change.
  2. The deforestation and filling of wetlands, which serve as natural sponges.

What can be done to prevent this? Not much … water will overflow if it has to … but what we can do is take precautions. Actually, you may still benefit from these measures even if you don’t own a waterfront property…

Here are ten tips that are both affordable and easy to put in practice. Most of these tips are useful all year long. Your goal: to ensure that water will flow easily and to avoid overflowing, sudden and abundant rainfall and unpleasant surprises.

  1. Make sure your submersible pump is working properly. If you have been using it for several years already, it will cost you, generally speaking, less than one hundred dollars to change it. If possible, you can add a second pump, next to the first one … and pair it with a battery backup.
  2. Have your drain’s check valve inspected and cleaned.
  3. Declutter your basement. Store your belongings at least one foot high above the floor.
  4. Add downspout extensions to your gutters. They are both affordable and easy to install.
  5. Clean your gutters.
  6. Remove the snow that has accumulated around the house and avoid the formation of snow banks.
  7. Use rainwater barrels.
  8. If your property is at the bottom of a slope, try to level your lawn.
  9. Make sure to clear and protect windows that are at ground level.
  10. Make sure you know where the shutoff valve for the water inlet is and that each member of your family knows where to find it and how to turn it off.

You may follow all these tips and still not be entirely protected from the eventuality of a flood … but it can always help! By the way, one last thing: don’t forget to confirm the content of your house insurance coverage with your insurer, based on your contract. If you are not covered for damages caused by ground water or above ground water … chances are that you are not insured against most water damages…

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