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Emergency Preparedness for Flood Damage: How to Protect Your Home & Family

For many businesses or homeowners in Florida, flooding is their worst nightmare. 

Unfortunately, the humid, subtropical climate in Florida creates an ideal breeding ground for extreme weather conditions such as hurricanes, tornadoes, waterspouts, heavy rain showers and lightning strikes. 

This is why it never hurts to prepare properties for flooding and the possible damage that can result. 

Here are a few handy flood prevention tips from the experts at DRYOUTpro PLUS, INC.

1) Check gutters and downspouts

One of the main culprits for causing flooding are blocked gutters and downspouts. This is because they can quickly get clogged up by natural debris, such as twigs and dead leaves, stopping rainwater from passing to the downspout.

Therefore, when heavy rain arrives, this water will overspill and cascade down the building’s siding, looking for any possible entry point. Pools of water will also start to form around the foundation.

Blockages most commonly happen in the winter months. So, it’s advisable to carry out an annual check (more often if there are many trees closeby) in the spring months.

If debris is present, use a leaf blower, gloves or a flexible water hose with a high-pressure attachment to clean the gutters.

What’s more, if your downspouts don’t direct water at least three feet away from your property, it may be wise to install downspout extensions. 

2) Prevent blocked drains

Falling water needs somewhere to go. So ensure that drainage systems have a chance to function properly by keeping yards clear of piling leaves, mulch or other debris. These could flush into the sewage drains or block drainage paths.

Check the nearby storm drains too to ensure they’re clear and use a rake to remove any visible blockages. In more severe cases, contact the local authorities.

3) Ensure the ground slopes away from the property

The next time it rains, observe how and where water accumulates near the property, especially near the foundation. Ideally, the ground should slope away from the foundation of your home or business, giving the water an escape route. 

However, if this isn’t the case, consider improving the grade of the yard by adding dirt and sod to low points around the structure’s perimeter. For a natural, more aesthetic look, you can plant grasses or shrubs in these areas.

If this isn’t possible, install drainage where water accumulates to give the water somewhere to go during heavy rainfall.

4) Repair cracks and sealing

Water can get through even the smallest of hairline cracks. Minor cracks can be sealed with epoxy or masonry sealer but if larger cracks are detected, these can be more serious and require the services of a professional damage restoration contractor.

In addition to carrying out regular inspections of walls, be sure to check seal openings, such as doors, windows, utility and exhaust penetrations, and improve their water resistance by making sure they are properly sealed and caulked. 

If the property has old windows, it might be wise to consider installing new ones. New windows will have a better seal which can not only reduce the chance of water entering, but also increase energy efficiency.

5) Install a backwater valve

Having a backwater valve installed on the sewer line is a simple step that can prevent flooding should city sewer lines become overwhelmed by sudden and heavy rainfall.

In this event, installing one will stop sewage from flowing backwards into the property.

6) Invest in flood skirts and barriers

Both flood skirts and barriers are useful tools for mitigating the damage caused by flooding. These are designed to divert flood water away from a particular area or to prevent it from entering.

Consider attaching them to windows and doors or around air bricks to keep water out of the reach of the structure.

Flood skirts and barriers can be installed permanently or temporarily, depending on the situation.

7) Pay attention to local weather reports 

Flooding can happen very quickly, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t always come without warning. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to local flood warnings and weather alerts.

With this valuable information, damage can be mitigated in many ways. It can provide an opportunity to place sandbags (keep these nearby!) around the foundation and other important or vulnerable structures. Likewise, it’s a chance to move rugs, furniture, electrical appliances and other valuables to the upper levels, shut off electricity at the breaker panel and raise major appliances (HVAC, heaters, washing machine etc.) off the ground using concrete or styrofoam blocks.

8) Get a flood sensor

Installing a flood sensor or other water detection system is an easy way to help prevent flooding. These monitor the levels of moisture inside a property and will alert the owner in the event of a sudden change, allowing for quick action.

These sensors are ideal for laundry rooms and bathrooms.

DRYOUTpro PLUS, INC, the emergency water damage restoration experts

Sometimes, despite best efforts, there’s nothing that can be done to stop the inevitable.

Flood damage can be devastating and, in such circumstances, fast action is necessary to prevent structural damage, mold problems and other health hazards.

Contact the experts at DRYOUTpro PLUS, INC. Our professional team of technicians is available 24 hours a day to respond to any flooding emergency in Stuart, Jupiter, Port St. Lucie, Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Ft. Pierce and nearby communities.

We’re experts in flood cleanup and water damage restoration. Our dedicated teams have the equipment and experience necessary to restore properties to their original condition as quickly as possible.

Give us a call whenever you need us on (772) 362-2788.


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