How to Prevent Flood Damage

According to CNNMoney.com, “Every year, flooding causes more than $2 billion of property damage in the U.S.” and “In a high risk area, your home has a 26% chance of being damaged by a flood during the course of a 30-year mortgage, compared to a 9% chance of fire.”  The Insurance Information Institute (or III) states: “Flood damage is excluded under standard homeowners and renters insurance policies.”  Not only that, but there is a 30 day waiting period on Flood policies before their coverage goes into effect!

Since floods and flash floods occur in all 50 states, homeowners all over the country can benefit by making sure their homes are as prepared as they can be.  Here’s some tips from HomeAdvisor on how to prevent flood damage.

If you’re in the process of pumping water out of your basement right now, these tips might be too late to prevent flood damage for you.  But if you have the time and money and want to prevent flood damage to your home in the future, read on!

Retaining Walls

Residential retaining walls are generally meant to hold soil in place and prevent erosion.  Retaining walls can also deter flood water and protect your property from flood damage if they’re properly placed and designed.  Their cost (installing a masonry retaining wall averages over $5,000) can be prohibitive for many homeowners; unless you have experienced lots of trouble with flooding, you may want to consider other options first.

Clean Your Gutters

Clean your gutters.  It’s a cheaper way to prevent water damage and flooding, and gutters can be a great benefit to your home by carrying water to an area where it will create the least damage, but only if they’re properly maintained.  Clogged gutters, however, don’t just perform poorly, but have also been linked to erosion, basement flooding, and even foundation damage.  At an average cost of $191 nationwide, having your gutters cleaned is one of the most affordable ways to reduce the risk of flood damage.

Get an Inspection

Even capable do-it-yourselfers may not have the knowledge necessary to predict how their home will perform under flood conditions.  Hire a professional to inspect your home to identify areas where water damage is likely and help you to better fortify your property.  A general home inspection averages $324.

Permeable Paving

Conventional asphalt and concrete pavement blocks water from naturally seeping into the ground.  Consider using permeable pavement, paving stones, or grass pave to counter flood damage.  If you really want to save money and reduce runoff at the same time, skip the paving all together and opt for gravel fill instead (residential asphalt paving averages $4,704; gravel fill averages less than $1,000).

Sump Pumps

Sump pumps are basically the last line of defense against excess water.  When ground water rises to a critical point, a sump pump begins to divert that water away from your home where it won’t harm your property.  While installing a sump pump is not an infallible defense against flood damage, when precipitation threatens property damage, the average investment of $866 could save you thousands!

Talk with your local Farmers Union Insurance Agent about what you can do to reduce the risk of flood damage to your home, and report any damage right away.

Thanks to company partner Foremost Insurance for contributing to the content of this blog.