home restoration after a severe storm

Home on Low Land? How to Keep it From Flooding

If you've recently purchased a home located on land that sits lower than the surrounding area, then you need to be concerned about flooding. Even if the home has not flooded in the past, a big storm could cause water to drain into the low-lying land and then into your home. Snow melts in the spring could wreak havoc on your home, too! If you don't want to wake up to inches—or even feet—of water in your basement, then take these steps to prevent your home from flooding.

Have a land drainage system installed.

Assuming the land has not already been augmented with a drainage system, adding such a system is one of the first things you should do upon moving in. If you're on a tight budget, you can have your landscaping team dig a series of ditches within which the excess water can collect. A better, though more costly solution is to have an underground series of pipes and drains installed. The drains will collect excess water, and the pipes will funnel it into the storm drains at the street level. This should keep water levels in your yard from rising too high, which will, in turn, keep water from seeping into your home.

Make sure the sump pump works.

If for some reason your home is not fitted with a sump pump, then you must have one installed. If you do have a sump pump, take a few minutes to test it when you move in. The sump pump is designed to pump water out of your basement, so that if water does seep in, it never gets to the point of actually flooding your home. 

To test your sump pump, pour a bucket of water into the pit, and watch to make sure the pump kicks on and discharges the water from your home. If the pump does not work, check to ensure the power is turned on to it. If the power is connected and it still won't work, it's time to call your plumber for repairs.

You should also make sure your home's sump pump is either connected to a generator or has a battery backup. This will keep your home from flooding if there is a storm that triggers a power outage.

Have foundation cracks repaired.

Tiny foundation cracks may not seem like a big deal since they only let a few drops of water seep in at a time. But after a big storm, when the soil outside is saturated, the pressure from the heavy, wet soil around your foundation can cause the cracks to expand. Before you know it, your basement is flooded.

Have a foundation repair company come seal the cracks in your basement. This way, you can be confident that it's done properly. They should use a special waterproof formula to seal the concrete patches when they're finished.

Keep in mind that even if you take the measures above, there is still a chance of flood waters entering your home during a big storm. Be prepared for the worst by always keeping a bag packed with the essentials, like a change of clothes, a first aid kit, medications, and emergency numbers, ready to go in case of an emergency. Also, be sure to add a flood insurance rider to your homeowners insurance policy, as flood damage is not usually covered under a standard policy.

When you move into a home on low land, it's always a good idea to call in a flood prevention team like John's Waterproofing to assess the situation. They can recommend additional tips and tricks for keeping your home safe from the flood waters.