The aftermath of a flood inside a house is like the scene of a horror movie. Debris, mud, sediments, even sewage, lying everywhere in what was once most-likely a beautiful and well-looked after house. It is especially nightmarish for any homeowner to cope, not only in terms of the clean-up, but also the reparation of damaged structures such as flooring, walls, foundation, doors etc as well as the destruction of household contents and personal items.
It is important that all homes are evaluated for flood risk. A simple assessment of the surrounding can consist of the following: Are you close to a river, water catch or dam? Is your house on a stilt, high foundation or on the ground? Are there natural burrows or holes nearby? Does water accumulate close to your house when it rains heavily? Does water travel towards your house or away from the house? Is there a good drainage system in your neighbourhood?
Once you have considered your risks, you can take the necessary measures to ensure that you minimise the extent of damage. You may never truly escape a flood completely unscathed, but with some preventive steps, you can limit the damage:
- Elevate your house above ground
- Flatten the surface of your lawn or tilt the grade away from your house so that water does not flow towards your house
- Dry-proof your house by applying coating and sealants to the exterior of your house
- Build a watertight wall around your house, especially if you reside close to a river
- Wet-proof your house by allowing water to exit from your house rather than accumulate and rise up
- Ensure that the gutter pipes point away from your house
- Clean out the gutter and drains to prevent blocked pathway for water
- Do not litter streams, rivers and other water pathways close to your home
- Close all natural burrows or holes close to your house which can allow water to accumulate