Flooding During a Hurricane

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It is hurricane season and while not entirely common for Long Island. However, because we live on an island storms that bring heavy winds and rains brings serious risk of flooding. While we can’t control the weather, there are things we can do to mitigate the damage caused by storms and flooding.

BEFORE THE STORM

-Check your storm and flood insurance policy. While you might be covered under homeowner’s insurance for a tree falling on your roof, most homeowners’ insurance policies don’t cover floods. Check your flood risk and make sure your policy is up to date. Take pictures of your home and take an inventory of your household items for insurance.

-Board up windows to prevent glass from breaking.

-Make sure your sump pump is installed properly and is in good working order. Sump pumps help pump water out of your basement in case of flooding.

-Unplug electronics and make sure valuables are kept in a safe, dry place. Important documents can be kept in the dishwasher, which is watertight. Just remember to take them out before you use it!

– Make an emergency survival kit. You don’t have to prepare for the end of days, but you should have enough tools and supplies to survive without electricity or utilities for up to two weeks. This site has a great checklist of things you may need.

AFTER THE STORM

-Don’t enter your home until it is deemed safe to do so.

-Call your insurance company.

-If you have water damage call Moldbusters. The sooner you start drying out after a flood the better. Mold can start growing after 24 hours, so most likely you will need to do flood and mold remediation if you were forced to evacuate.

While a flood can be devastating, it is possible to rebuild a house and replace things. The most important thing to remember about a major storm is things can be replaced, but you can’t replace people. Despite the instinct to stay and protect your home, keep out of damaged buildings and heed any evacuation warnings.

Prevent Flooding

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With flash flooding and storms in every season, basement flooding is a serious threat. How can you protect yourself from a devastating basement flood? Just follow these steps to avoid a costly disaster:

 

  • Insurance

Unfortunately most homeowners’ insurance does not cover flooding or sewer backups. Review your property insurance policy and consider additional coverage, especially if you have a finished basement and live in a flood zone.

  • Gutters & Downspouts

Clogged or backed up gutters and downspouts can cause water to flow into your house. Keep gutters free of debris and position downspouts away from the foundation. The goal is to drain storm water at least three feet away, so if necessary, consider running extensions or troughs.

  • Foundation Cracks

If light can get in, water can get in! Inspect the exterior foundation and your basement’s walls and floors. Use epoxy to fill any foundation cracks and if warning signs are detected, apply masonry sealer indoors.

  • Sump Pumps

If you have a below-grade sump pump, check to make sure its well is free of debris. If you have a portable pump, position it in the lowest part of the basement and be sure it’s connected to a power source.

  • Sewers & Septics

If you haven’t had your sewer inspected or your septic tank cleaned, spring is a good time to address these concerns. During periods of prolonged, heavy rainfall, clogged sewers and over-taxed septics are disasters waiting to happen.

  • Window Well Covers

If you have below-grade basement windows, install window well covers that will fasten securely to your home’s foundation. You can use acrylic covers that  allow light to enter while they keep out rain, leaves, and pests.

  • Generators

Remember a sump pump only works if you have power. If you live in an area plagued with frequent storms and power outages, a generator may be a long-term investment worth considering.

 

Even when you are prepared disasters can happen. When disaster strikes call Moldbusters (631) 451-7500 for water damage clean up.

 

How To Catch Flood Damage Risks

house-underwater

Flood damage can be expensive. When purchasing a home or just deciding to purchase separate flood insurance it is important to take into consideration all the risk factors for flooding your home may have. Even if you are not located near water, other factors can put your home at risk of flooding. Experts say you should check for soil erosion, poor sewerage and drainage systems, overflowing creeks, rivers or lakes near the site, siltation problems, water ceilings and water leaks of existing structures to calculate risk of flood damage.

1.Spot the leaks. A good place to start is the windows. Leaks at window sills are normally caused by driving rains during storms and typhoons, which means the window sealant used is ineffective.

2.Be wary of the toilet. If the water goes up before flushing down, this may mean septic tank effluents are prevented from coming out because of floodwaters.

3.Note the watermarks.  Water marks on the ceiling would mean there are leaks, while water marks on the floor may mean water has been seeping into the floor joints, or at the joint between the floor and the wall. Also  look for flood markings on nearby fences or walls, or even on the tree trunks around the vicinity after heavy rains.

4.Peek into drainage manholes. Check drainage manholes, ideally after heavy rains, through the scupper, to find out whether the drainage line is running smoothly. Still water in drainage manholes could mean constricted or clogged drainages. This may also mean that it’s just a maintenance problem, but buyers must demand proper maintenance to be done before it becomes a bigger problem.

5.Look up, check the roof. Flapping roof sheets caused by strong winds, and clogged gutters could be a sign of a potential leak.

7.Ask the neighbors. Still, one of the best ways to know if the area is prone to flooding is to ask the people living in the vicinity.

8.Mud on the road.. Mud on the road is a tell-tale indication of the “looseness” of the soil where the road is situated. One should first look at the “ingress and egress” (entry and exit) of the location, or the accessibility of the location as access roads are as important as the site itself.