How to Prevent Water Damage in Case of a Storm
Weather can affect us wherever we live with very little warning. Severe storms can occur in any season. It pays to take heed and prepare for the worst, even if your home isn’t in the direct path of a storm.
Stormwater runoff can quickly overwhelm natural and human-made systems, leading to flooding and property damage. There are ways to prepare your home for impending storms and it’s time now to make sure your home is ready for the next major storm.
In some cases, these steps can make all the difference between costly home repairs and no storm damage to your home at all.
So, here are some emergency preparedness tips you can easily do now to limit the effect weather will have on your yard, home and lifestyle. This checklist can help you prepare to reduce the impact of water or a flood on your home and family.
Prevent Storm Water Damage - Storm Water Damage Prevention Tips
Purchase a home generator
For a long-term emergency preparedness strategy, consider buying a home generator. The on-call power of a generator - either a portable generator or a permanently installed standby generator - can be a “life-saver” during an outage.
Power is often the first thing to go when there’s severe weather. Depending on the severity of the storm, it can take hours or days for the power company to restore services. In the event of a power outage, a portable emergency generator can provide enough power to keep a few important lights and appliances running.
Candles and flashlights are helpful in this situation, but unfortunately, these won’t keep your food from spoiling in the refrigerator. A whole-house standby generator will automatically kick-on to take over during a power outage, keeping important appliances such as your sump pump, refrigerator, and freezer running.
Install surge protection
Surge protectors help protect your home’s electrical system, appliances, and sensitive electronic equipment from the effects of lightning. Phone, satellite, cable and power lines should all be protected by surge protectors.
When installed correctly, surge protectors can protect appliances and electronics, but also help prevent electrical fires. Power surges can occur instantly during a storm and can damage your appliances and electronics. You can add a power surge protector to your electrical panel and use power strips with built-in surge protectors to help protect your property.
Your heating and air conditioning system may also need special protection.
Clean gutters and get them ready to handle the heavy flow.
A home that isn’t ready for rain can become a nightmare as water leaks through the roof and ceilings, floods the ground floor or basement, and compromises the home’s structure.
Gutters can’t handle heavy rain if they’re filled with leaves, tree branches, and other debris. Rainwater will collect and overflow, and this overflow can damage your roof, siding, walls, and footings. Remove winter's debris from your gutters, drains, and downspouts so that heavy rains can flow freely off your roof.
Also, be sure that downspouts are secure and that water is draining well away from your home and not toward your foundation — add extensions if necessary. Gutter extenders on the ground floor help tremendously to protect your home as well. They make sure the water drains away from your home to prevent backflow and flooding.
Check your roof, skylights, and flashing too. The roof is the most obvious point of entry for rain. Leaks often occur at the flashing in valleys or where pipes penetrate the surface. Check your sealants. Leaking sealants is one of the leading causes of water damage from storms.
You should check all roofing penetrations including stacks, skylights, and chimneys for decaying sealants and then make the needed repairs.
The weight of debris and rainwater can also cause gutters to detach from your house, and cause moisture to seep into areas like your attic. Trapped moisture over a prolonged period of time can lead to a nasty and costly mold problem. Avoid this headache and professionally clean your gutters before storm season.
Trim tree branches
A broken window in the middle of severe weather is the last thing you need. Prune lanky limbs and branches so they don't snap off in a windstorm and land on your home or a power line. This can happen if tree branches hang too close to a window or glass door, as strong winds can slam limbs into your house.
Do a little yard maintenance to prepare your house for storm season. Trim branches that brush against your home, or completely remove trees that pose danger to your house. Cutting low-hanging branches, unstable bushes or trees can prevent larger and more expensive accidents from happening.
Proper tree pruning also increases the chances that your trees can make it through a storm.
Remove area debris
While you can’t clear your entire neighborhood of potential missiles, you should remove or secure anything surrounding your home that could become airborne during the high winds that come along with severe storms; this will prevent damage to your windows.
Secure outdoor items such as grills, picnic tables, and other lawn furniture. Decorations can cause harm to your home or be destroyed by the storm, so it is best to move them inside. Stow your gear. Put them in your garage or a shed so they don't become dangerous projectiles.
Review or procure insurance
You should review your existing insurance policy and make sure your most valuable items are covered for damage or loss. You’ll also want to make sure your policy includes flood insurance, as any home in an area vulnerable to storms can benefit from coverage.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that flood insurance is covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy – it’s not. Flood insurance is a separate policy that you can purchase through an insurance agent. This can be a smart investment, even if your neighborhood never floods.
It can cost thousands of dollars to repair your property after a flood, and without insurance, you’re on your own. Request quotes from an agent and purchase a policy as soon as possible – there’s a 30-day wait period before coverage takes effect.
And check out the info here on actual value versus replacement value to be sure you understand the coverage you have.
And here’s a quick tip - if the water hits the ground before damaging your home or property, it’s most likely covered by flood insurance. If it hits your house or something else before hitting the ground, even if it ends up “flooding” it is not covered by flood insurance.
Take pictures and prepare a disaster kit
For insurance purposes, take photos of your house and important belongings before a storm hits. This includes the exterior front and back. Snap pictures of each room, giving extra attention to valuables, such as electronics and jewelry. Print and place photos in a tightly sealed plastic bag, and then place the bag in a water-proof safe or box.
Be ready for the worst. Assemble a disaster supply kit, and have it readily accessible.
Basic supplies should include:
Flashlight and fresh batteries
Battery or solar-powered weather radio and/or transistor radio
First aid supplies
Hand sanitizer or wipes
Three-day supply of canned or dried food and water
Close and secure storm shutters if your home has them. Keep blinds and shades drawn and tape or tack window coverings around the edges to help protect you from broken, flying glass.
Plywood is an affordable solution to protect windows without shutters from airborne projectiles. You can stock up on plywood to prepare for the next storm. Plywood supplies go fast during storm season so be sure not to wait.
You may also want to protect your outdoor air conditioning unit against airborne debris and projectiles, which can lodge in your unit and cause damage. Use a manufacturer-approved protective cover and avoid using a do-it-yourself solution such as a tarp or garbage bag, which could void your warranty and trap moisture inside.
Move valuables to higher locations
Move items such as irreplaceable family photo albums, high school yearbooks, personal videotapes, tax records, insurance policies and household inventories to high shelves or even the attic.
Make copies and store them in another location not likely to flood. Scan and store important documents on thumb drives or hard drives located away from your home (or on the Cloud).
The weather is always unpredictable, but by taking a few steps to prepare, we can avoid some of those harrowing storm stories. By following these tips, you can prepare for the storm season. Crossing off these checklist items can mean all the difference between expensive repairs or no storm damage at all!
Prevent Storm Water Damage: Five Star Restoration
At Five Star Restoration we recognize the value of great customer service. Our restoration services address damages from storms like we have been experiencing the past couple of months and ensure mold will not be a risk down the road.
We operate with kindness, integrity, and Five Star service every time!
Our certified technicians are committed to educating you through the process, explaining everything very thoroughly as we do the assessment, so you can make the best decision to repair and restore your home or business effectively and efficiently every time. We understand a safe home or business is crucial.
If there are questions or you’d like to chat, please give us a call at 951-368-2227.
Tags: preventing storm water damage, storm water damage, rain water damage tips, preventing storm floods, water damage prevention