Most lessons are learned after the fact. When it comes to water damage, modern techniques are available to protect your home. Don’t walk into your home up to your knees in water. Your home is your most valuable asset. Follow these steps to protect it.
1. Check the risk
Assess your home’s risk by checking with your city manager who will tell you the projected flood waters for your neighborhood. You should also consider the historic chances of floodwaters in your area due to natural disasters. If the odds are low for an external flood affecting your home you must still prepare for an in house leak.
2. Identify the leaks
Test your water meter for water leakage. Check the reading on the meter after shutting down all water usage in the house. If the meter continues to show usage then you have a leak. Check your floorboards, windows and roofs for water damage. Look for standing water outside, which is another sign of water leakage. Make sure to check home appliances that use water. These are also a prime source of leaks.
3. Hire a professional
You know that you have leaks and your home is at risk but you aren’t sure what to do next. Contact a water damage consultant. The consultant will evaluate the damage and determine if a quick fix or retrofit is required. More serious retrofits include replacing pipes or even raising up your home’s structure.
4. Waterproof your home
Repair leaks in your roof and clear your gutters. Place all of your important documents into waterproof containers and safes. Consider your home from top to bottom. Computers are safer in upstairs rooms. Raise air conditioners and heaters off the floor. If you have a basement you can assume that it will take on some water in a flood. Move items that are not safe into the basement.
5. Invest in tech
Use modern leak alert systems that will send out an audible alarm and also shut off the valve when there is a leak.
6. Prepare for an emergency
Be sure to plan ahead. Keep a stocked disaster kit handy in your home. Take all occupants of the home through a drill on what to do in an emergency including escape plans for upstairs rooms. If you have some time to anticipate floodwaters you should consider taking outside furniture in and pulling items up from the basement.
7. Buy flood insurance
Most homeowners don’t include flood coverage in their home insurance policies. Your home is one of your most important possessions. If you are at all at risk consider buying flood insurance. You can always compare insurance quotes for a good deal. Also, consider hiring an adjuster who will help you to optimize your coverage.
8. Keep records
Keep a record of everything. If you are filing a claim after damages these documents will save you a lot of cash. Just make sure to protect these documents in waterproofed boxes.
Disaster preparedness is always costly. The expense is certainly worth it when you are protecting your home.