Protecting your home in a flood zone is imperative. Knowing how to protect your home from flood damage is information all Australian homeowners need to know, even if your home is not located in a flood zone. Despite the common misconception, homes located in flood zones are not the only ones subject to flood damage. Torrential downpours over the course of a very short period of time can cause flooding even in neighborhoods in higher elevations. Because of this, it is even more advantageous for homeowners located in flood zones to take every possible precaution to protect your home from flood damage.
Are floods common?
In Australia, homes located near bodies of water such as lakes, rivers or the ocean, as well as homes in low lying urban areas are subject to flood damage. This may be caused by flash flooding, a common flood type, caused by heavy downpours of rain, in a short amount of time. This type of flood provides you with very little warning, which means you need to protect your home as much as possible in a relatively small window of time. However, there are measures you can take as a homeowner to protect your home immediately!
How can I protect my home?
The first step in protecting your home in a flood zone is to seal all cracks and leaks in your home’s foundation. Opting for water resistant doors in your home will also help minimise the damage. Water resistant doors are strong doors used at entrance/exit doors to your home. The strong make of the doors is more resistant to flood waters, which keeps more water out of your home in the event of a flood.
Take precautions to protect the exterior of your home by using lime-based paints with low permeability, which allows your walls to dry out more quickly, exercising the water that causes damage to your home. If possible, adding weep holes to your cavity walls will allow the water that has permeated your home to drain more quickly. If you build your home or opt to remodel, consider moving water heaters and electrical outlets higher. Once water reaches these electrical outlets, the damage to your home is increased by a large amount.
Get flood insurance
The most important form of protection you can offer your home in the instance of a flood is flood insurance. Even if your home is in a low-lying area or in a flood zone, your general home insurance is unlikely to cover flood damage. Read the clause in your insurance contract and add flood insurance to your policy if need be.
Policies for flash flooding may require you pay a higher premium on your insurance; however not having the insurance means you may not receive enough financial help from your insurance company to correct flood damage in your home.
Be careful of policies that cover some forms of flood damage but not others. For example, some insurance providers include damage from accidental flooding, such as a pipe that bursts, but not against major flooding that is caused as a result of living in a flood zone or near a body of water.
Protect your belongings
When you have ample warning that a flood is likely in your neighborhood you can protect your home by moving your belongings to a higher floor. Keeping your rugs, furniture and belongings dry keeps the expense of repairing your home from water damage down.
Should your home incur water damage due to flooding at any point, it is important that you are aware of the long-term damage this causes to houses. Even after flood water recedes from your home, it may not be safe for you or your family to enter the home. Wait until you are given permission to re-enter your neighborhood and home by authorities.
What to do once you re-enter your home
Finally, once you are allowed to re-enter your home after a flood, it is important you remove standing water as soon as possible. While you are unable to save your carpets and certain other flooring once it’s been subjected to flood waters, you can save other flooring materials, walls and other aspects of your home from becoming even more damaged by standing water. Damage won’t be prevented by removing standing water, but it will be minimized.
Protecting your home from flood damage is essential knowledge. Talk to you insurance carrier, and consider undertaking the remodeling projects needed to protect your home if you live in a flood zone. Being prepared is always the best protection against flood damage to your home.