Floods can take many forms, and are in some cases considered to be one of the worst natural catastrophes. Floods can occur in areas near rivers or bodies of water, following a heavy rainfall that causes water levels to rise and in your own home if you have a burst pipe.
Floods are responsible for more than $40 billion of damage each year, regardless of their cause. Floods are the number one cause of natural disaster deaths, with up to 30 people dying each year in their homes.
You can prevent some floods, but you should take precautions to keep your home dry. You have a variety of options depending on the location of your home and your risk factors. The five projects listed below are ranked from the least expensive to the most expensive, so you can decide which one is best for you.
Floods can start inside your home. Sometimes, they start from within. Indoor flooding can be caused by a variety of factors, from a malfunctioning washer to an overflowing bathtub. The most common and dramatic cause of flooding in the home is burst pipes.
When the temperature in the home drops to a level where the water in the pipe freezes, the pipes burst. As the water expands, it freezes. If the temperature drops rapidly and the water freezes quickly enough, it can expand at such a rapid rate that it can cause the metal or plastic pipes to split. When the ice melts, water will then leak out of the cracks or holes.
Insulating your pipes is one way to avoid this. Pipe insulation keeps them at a constant temperature, so they don’t freeze.
Project Cost: $100 to $1,000, depending on the number of pipes at risk.
Installation Difficulty: Precut pipe insulation is easy to install. It slips over the pipes.
French drains are a passive way to direct water away from your house. Sump pumps are the active solution if you prefer. Sump pumps use a trench as well, but instead of passively funneling water away, they collect it in a pit and then use a powerful pump to force the water out. They are more efficient when paired up with French drains. This is especially true in areas that receive heavy rainfall or homes that have previously experienced flooding. You may need more than one if you have a large home.
Project Cost: $550 to $1,100
Installation Difficulty: Installation is easy if there is already a pit, but can be difficult if you have to dig a trench and a pit.
A French drain can help if you live in a region where flooding is a problem due to heavy rain or high water levels. A French drain directs water away from the house. It can be installed either inside or outside of the home to help prevent flooding.
Installed via a trench, it collects water and directs it away from the property. Interior drains may be more expensive but they are more effective at removing water in the most critical areas. They can be installed either in a new home or an existing one. They can also be paired with sump pumps to further reduce your flood risk.
Project Cost: $5,000
Installation Difficulty: It can take a few hours or even days to cut into the ground, or the concrete of your basement.
Foundation Sealing and Waterproofing
Floods do not always occur suddenly. Floods can occur when water slowly accumulates through a crack on your foundation. Over time, the crack can widen and allow more water to enter your home. This can be prevented by waterproofing and sealing the foundation.
Waterproofing is a great way to repair small cracks in your foundation and prevent water from entering. Waterproofing is often paired with sump pumps and French drainages, especially if you live in a place where moisture can easily slope down to the foundation. If your house is located on a hill, or the ground slopes away to the foundation, waterproofing may be the best solution.
Project Cost: $5,000
Installation Difficulty: Sealing and waterproofing may take several hours or even days depending on the condition the foundation.
Not every property is a candidate for house raising. If you live near a body water that has been flooded before, house raising may be the best solution for you. House raising is an expensive project that involves lifting your home several feet and then building a new crawl space or foundation below it. The Base Flood Elevation is used to calculate the amount of raising your house. This number takes into consideration the ground elevation, flood zone and how far above the zone your home is already located. If your BFE is ten feet and your home is five feet above the flood zone with a crawlspace below, you will need to raise it another five feet to get out of the zone.
The cost of raising your house can be high, but it can save you thousands in flood damage. This will also protect your home from possible flooding for many years.
Project Cost: $35,500
Installation Difficulty: This is a difficult and invasive procedure that must be done with care to avoid damaging the integrity of your home’s structure.
Protect Your Home From Floods
Floods can be dangerous and costly. They can cause a lot damage in a short period of time and do not discriminate between houses. These five techniques will help you protect your home against flood damage and keep it dry no matter what happens outside.