Protecting Your Home From Flood Damage
For people who live in Louisiana, severe storms are an unfortunate fact of life. And these storms often bring inundating rains that lead to flooding. There are some things you can do, however, to try and lower the chances you’ll have to deal with soaked furniture and carpeting, ruined appliances and walls, and even worse damage.
Staying Above Water
Louisiana and the federal government have strict regulations when it comes to how high a home needs to be located above ground to withstand flooding. This is the safest way possible to avoid catastrophic — and potentially even deadly — flooding. If you are not sure what the regulations are in your area, contact your local municipality.
There could be a chance that you might need to raise your home to keep the lowest floor above flood level. While this will more than likely be very expensive, it could be well worth it in the long run. You may also be able to install vents in your foundation that will allow rainwater to flow through the bottom portion of your home rather than accumulate and eventually rise to a dangerous level.
Protecting Your Indoor and Outdoor Equipment
If possible, raise your wiring, sockets, switches, circuit breakers and other components of your electrical system at least 12 inches above the typical flood level in your area. You may also need to make adjustments to other equipment such as your water heater and furnace.
However, you can’t ignore your outdoor equipment such as your air conditioning unit or any fuel tanks or generators that may be on your property. Again, check your local municipality to see how high your AC and other outdoor equipment need to sit.
Check Your Plumbing System
If your sewer system floods, that can lead to an extremely unhealthy situation. Either check to make sure you have a backflow valve attached to your plumbing system or have one installed as soon as you can. There should also be valves installed on all the pipes that enter your home.
Many experts recommend gate valves, which can be operated by hand. These valves have much stronger seals than most other types.
Check Your Water Flow
Take a good look at your property and pay close attention to how the ground slopes. This can be a very good indication of how water may accumulate during a rainstorm.
If you live on a street that tends to flood even after a relatively minor rain, your county’s planning department may have suggestions on changes you can make to protect your property.
If a flooding rain is imminent, there are a few things you can do at the last minute to help protect your possessions. Move everything on lower floors — furniture, electronics, rugs, etc. — to upper floors. If you have a one-story home, raise them as high as you can. Turn off your home’s electricity and raise appliances on cinder blocks if possible.
The steps you take now to protect yourself from flooding can pay off handsomely in the long run. If you’ve been the victim of a flood and need help navigating the insurance process, Irpino, Avin & Hawkins Law Firm can help. Contact us today at 1-800-7500-LAW.