How to protect your home and yourself from a flood
Floods happen every spring, but this year the situation is especially critical. The urban drainage system will not be able to cope with such volumes of melt water.
Therefore, every responsible homeowner and family head should already think how to protect home from moisture and take care of the safety of the house and his family during the possible flooding of the house. A number of measures should already be taken now to prevent the danger.
How to protect your home
First, you have to take care of waterproofing your home. You will have to get under the upholstery of the walls, under the floor and under the suspended ceilings. Use special mixes for waterproofing, which can be purchased in construction stores.
Second, check to see if the drainage system near your home is working properly. Also, you will have to clean the drainpipes of debris.
How to protect yourself
If you live in an area that frequently suffers from flooding, take care of an emergency kit that will be needed in the event of an emergency.
Pack a separate “emergency” suitcase or bag to hold the necessary items:
- Several sets of underwear and clothing for each family member;
- Hygiene items;
- Food that can be stored for several days without a refrigerator.
In a separate waterproof bag put:
- Documents (passports, certificates, driver’s license, property insurance contract)
- Enough money for a few days,
- Credit and salary cards;
If you have a good and trusting relationship at work, you can agree with management to keep your most valuable items and documents in the organization’s safe for the duration of the snow melt.
You also need to find a place where you are going to wait out the elements. You can take advantage of offers from relatives, or you can rent temporary housing, as long as it is not close to the disaster site. Under no circumstances stay at home if it is in an area of possible flooding. Your health and the health of your loved ones are more important than possessions.
If you see water starting to rise, you should take the necessary safety precautions.
First, find your “emergency” suitcase. You may forget where you put it the night you packed it.
Second, you need to turn off all electrical appliances from the outlets. Don’t forget the refrigerator and television, the washing machine and the dishwasher. You were taught this as a child: water and electricity are an explosive combination.
Home protection: step by step
To protect yourself and your home from spring snow melt or fall rains, take note of steps to protect your home from water damage:
- Caulk all possible cracks and holes in your home. This will help keep your property safe from a minor flood or simple dampness. After all, dampness indoors not only spoils the finish, but also has a detrimental effect on human health – it can cause asthma.
- Spring is the time to strengthen the roof. You should check the roof of the house for reliability. If money is tight, you can use rubber sheeting under the roof in the attic, which will protect the house from water penetration from above.
- Fix cracks in the foundation by sealing them with cement. If the cracks are small, seal them with a sealant. You can do this with ordinary sealant or foam sealant sold in construction hypermarkets.
- Check gutters and downspouts. You must ensure the serviceability of gutters and downspouts. You should also clean them from various contaminants such as sand, leaves, and others. If the house is in a high-risk flood zone, you must dig drainage channels 20-30 cm deep.
- Get a sump pump. It will help pump the water out of your house. It is especially useful for buildings with basements. Such pumps cost from 600 UAH in online stores.
- Take a picture of the property. It is very important for the property insurance. After all, the insurance company’s payments depend on certain damages to the property. You can store the photos on a flash drive in the aforementioned “emergency” suitcase.
- Move all expensive items to a safe place. For example, to relatives who live outside the danger zones. As a last resort, move furniture and appliances to the attic or second floor of your home.
- Secure fuel tanks. When the room is flooded – the fuel tanks will just start to float. To prevent this from happening, you need to wrap them in waterproof materials and fasten them securely somewhere.
- Prevent sewer backflow. When there is a flood, the liquid in the sewer drains can change its direction. Therefore, you need to install special valves that will prevent the sewage from moving in the opposite direction.
Don’t think that floods don’t affect you. It’s a problem that affects many people, especially in the springtime. This year, many of us will face floods because there is too much snow outside the window. So take care of the safety of your home yourself, or use the services of insurance companies – and sleep well.
How to dry a house after flooding
Eliminating the effects of flooding on your own home includes the following actions:
- As soon as the water level falls steadily, and sometimes there are repeated waves of flooding, promptly begin drying out your home. This way you keep the risk of home collapse and mold to a minimum.
- Check your wells; if the water table is too high, you can’t pump water out of your basement yet. You need to do it carefully and gradually, otherwise there is a risk of erosion of the soil under the foundation.
- You should assess the foundation and the facade for cracks. If in doubt about the loss of the load-bearing capacity of the house structures, contact the builders-designers.
- If there is no threat of collapse of the house, you can go inside. Examine the house, wearing high rubber boots, a helmet. The purchase of respirators will not be superfluous.
- First of all, pump out the water on the adjoining territory, so that the foundation will not be destroyed.
- After you pump out the water from the basement, the house and the surrounding area, start drying the walls and the floor.
- Remove drywall sheets, PVC panels, wallpaper, plaster, etc. from walls and floors. Wash the prepared surfaces and then treat them with disinfectants.
- The house will dry faster if you ventilate the rooms. You can use special drying equipment.
- After the house is completely dry, and this usually takes 3-6 months, you can start repairing. If there are traces of mold, remove it and re-treat these places with special antifungal agents.
- Drenched property must first be dried, then disinfected. Upholstered furniture is best dried in the shade. Wet particleboard furniture can rarely be salvaged, and is usually scrapped for firewood.