Ten tips to pre­vent water dam­age in your home!
Our homes are often described as our cas­tles. It’s a con­stant task to keep our homes safe and secure. We need to address the threats to our homes on many dif­fer­ent fronts. While we often talk about arti­fi­cial threats, in the way as a break and enter­ing or van­dal­ism. Anoth­er sig­nif­i­cant risk can come from extreme weath­er or burst pipes result­ing in flood­ed base­ments and water dam­age. Cli­mate change has made us more sus­cep­ti­ble to severe weath­er, which can mean sud­den down­pours with a mon­th’s worth of rain in a few hours. Is your prop­er­ty ready to han­dle this kind of storm with high vol­umes of water in a short time? So how do you pro­tect your­self? Here are a few tips.
1. Prop­er­ty grad­ing. Your land­scap­ing should pro­vide a nat­ur­al path for runoff to move away you’re your home. Your yard should be sloped away from the build­ing. Make sure land­scap­ing and floor beds are not pre­vent­ing water from mov­ing away from your base­ment walls and foun­da­tion.
2. Are your down­spouts and eave troughs in good con­di­tion? Are they free of debris that can cause clogged down­spouts, result­ing in over­flow­ing? Ensure your down­spouts are NOT con­nect­ed to your home­’s weep­ing tiles or City drains. You should install drainage pipes to your down­spouts that take the water at least 6–8ft away from your foun­da­tion.
3. Rethink­ing hard sur­faces around your home is essen­tial. The rain­wa­ter needs places to be absorbed into the ground. Rather than using con­crete or asphalt dri­ve­ways and walk­ways, think about inter­lock­ing brick or stone or loose grav­el or peb­ble paths.
4. If your street has a storm sew­er drain near your home, make sure it’s free and clear. If it’s clogged, call the City. And if water on the street can­not go into the sew­er, it will look for alter­na­tives… caus­ing water dam­age in your base­ment.
5. If you have win­dow wells for your base­ment win­dows, con­sid­er get­ting clear cov­ers for them. Win­dow wells can fill very quick­ly in a down­pour and over­whelm any drainage that may be in place.
Now on the inside of your home, there are also things you can do for pre­ven­tion and ear­ly detec­tion!
6. If you have a sump pump, ensure it’s in good work­ing order and that the pit is free of debris, and con­sid­er a bat­tery back­up sys­tem. Storms often go hand in hand with pow­er fail­ures. The pump won’t help you if it has no pow­er!
7. Con­sid­er adding water sen­sors to your alarm sys­tem. These can be installed in your sump pit, near your wash­ing machine and hot water tank. Get­ting ear­ly noti­fi­ca­tion of a leak can save you from much dam­age.
8. Keep your floor drains clean and clear. Also, ask your plumber about installing a back­wa­ter valve in your drain. A back­wa­ter valve is a device that stops water and sewage from com­ing back into the house dur­ing times of heavy rain­fall. Annu­al main­te­nance of back­wa­ter val­ues is essen­tial.
9. Don’t pour fats, oils and grease down your drains; they may solid­i­fy and con­tribute to a clogged pipe—the last thing you need when your sys­tem is in dis­tress from a storm!
10. Shelv­ing is your friend in a base­ment; try to keep as much stuff as pos­si­ble off the base­ment floor. If you have valu­ables, keep­sakes or heir­looms, con­sid­er that the base­ment might not be the best place for them.

As with many things … an ounce of pre­ven­tion is worth a pound of the cure. Take some time to check out your home to see if you are ready for the next storm because it’s com­ing!

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Allan Baum
Security Industry veteran with over 30+ years in the industry. Founded family owned and operated Protection Plus in 1994 with his wife and has overseen its growth since. In addition to working with his wife and son, Allan has assigned the role of Chief Canine Officer to his trusted dog Waub, who joins him at the office every day.