4 tips to prevent flood damage

4 tips to prevent flood damage
mold remediation after flood

mold remediation after flood

A flood can devastate a home by ruining furniture, clothing, flooring, carpeting, drywall, appliances and electronics. Afterward, the risk of mold lingers.

Consider the following projects to help limit the potential for flood damage:

1. Select the correct materials: Consider building or remodeling with materials resistant to flood damage, meaning they can withstand floodwater for at least 72 hours. FEMA suggests these materials.

2. Install sewer backflow valves: Floods can cause sewage to back up through drainpipes and into buildings. Consider installing a backflow valve, designed to block drainpipes temporarily and prevent return flow. Expect to pay around $1,400 for a plumber or contractor to install a backflow valve.

For more on storm preparation: 6 Tips to Prevent Wind Damage

3. Anchor fuel tanks: Floodwater can sweep away fuel tanks and crash them into buildings, as well as rip away supply lines and cause fuel to leak. Secure a vertical tank with two ground anchors. Set each anchor on opposite sides of the tank. Attach a strap from each anchor to the collar secured at the top of the tank. Attach another metal strap from one anchor, through the tank base, to the other anchor. Expect to pay about $300 to $500 to anchor a 1,000-gallon fuel tank.

4. Raise the electrical system: Make sure electrical system components such as service panels, meters, switches and outlets sit at least one foot above the 100-year flood level. Your electrician can check with your local power company to determine how high to raise the electric meter.

Source: FEMA

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An ejector pump carries sink and washing machine water out of member Julia Bell's basement. (Photo courtesy of Bell)
An ejector pump carries sink and washing machine water out of member Julia Bell's basement. (Photo courtesy of Bell)

Chicago homeowners can choose from several options to prevent basement flooding, including overhead sewers and exterior flood control systems.

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