Floods are one of the most common, and most difficult, cleanup jobs in your home. Flood effects can be local, impacting a neighborhood or community, or very large, affecting entire river basins and multiple states. However, all floods are not alike. Some floods develop slowly, sometimes over a period of days, like when a hurricane is stalled over South Carolina. But flash floods can develop quickly, sometimes in just a few minutes and without any visible signs of rain.
Be aware of flood hazards no matter where you live, but especially if you live in a low-lying area, near water or downstream from a dam. Even very small streams, gullies, creeks, culverts, dry streambeds, or low-lying ground that appear harmless in dry weather can flood. Know the risk in your area.
If you suspect that your home might flood in the future, there are steps you can take now to lessen the effects. Electrical sockets, switches and wiring should be elevated at least 12 inches above predicted flood levels. This reduces the amount of damage a flood can cause to your home, and it prevents your home from becoming a safety hazard during the recovery period. If you have a fuel tank in your basement, be sure to anchor it to the floor or wall. An unanchored fuel tank can cause serious damage, such as tearing the supply line and spilling oil.
Waterproofing your basement typically requires an investment of time and money, but this investment pays off if you live in an area that is frequently flooded. You can’t waterproof when the area is damp, so have Sincerely Yours fix any current water damage problems. Research the best waterproofing products for your materials, or ask the Sincerely Yours team for their expert opinion.
Along with waterproofing, set up a sump pump in the basement and a battery-operated backup in case the power goes out during the flood. Install “check valves” in sewer traps to prevent water from backing up into the drains of your home.
A “flood watch” will be issued by the National Weather Service when the conditions are right for flooding. Use this alert to physically move vulnerable items. Start immediately; you might get an evacuation order during this storm.
Move furniture, valuables, and important documents to a safe place, above the level of historic floods. Remove loose area rug; lift floor length curtains. Copies of critical documents like birth certificates or insurance policies should be stored in a waterproof safety box– ready to take with you if you evacuate.
You can purchase flood coverage at any time, but there is a 30-day waiting period after you’ve applied and paid the premium before the policy is effective, with the following exceptions unless if the initial purchase of flood insurance is in connection with the making, increasing, extending or renewing a loan, there is no waiting period. The coverage becomes effective at the time of the loan, provided application and payment of premium are made at or prior to loan closing. Technically, there is another exception– if the official d flood map for a community is revised, there is a one-day waiting period.
The National Flood Insurance Policy (NFIP) also will not allow you to increase the amount of insurance coverage you have during a loss in progress. Even if your home has been flooded before, you are still eligible to purchase flood insurance after this incidence, provided that your community is participating in the NFIP.
Water damage is stressful; it is important to hire trusted, experienced experts. After floodwater has breached your home, contact Sincerely Yours, water damage restoration specialists. Sincerely Yours has been handling water damage emergencies since 1959 in the Columbia area. Count on their expertise and historic flood experience to serve you with the fastest, easiest cleanup possible.