Flood-Prevention Renovations

Recent occurrences in the southern states have served as a devastating and disturbing reminder of nature’s destructive power over people and property.

We expect that people who already own property in these locations will receive additional guidance and aid in flood-proofing their existing dwellings.

Everyone knows someone who has been impacted by the flooding. Most people bought their home with no idea what was in store for them. While some may have anticipated flooding once in a lifetime, few could have predicted two big floods within a year.

We’ve considered what improvements you can make to your home while you’re renovating it — adjustments that will make it more resilient, especially if you live in a flood-prone location.

While some of these precautions would be ineffective against a severe flood, they could help avoid damage to your property or at the very least make the cleanup process easier.

Drainage in Your Neighborhood
In most cases, your home will be flooded in one of three ways.

The river system beneath your home is overloaded, causing water to rise;
A strong rainstorm becomes trapped around your property and rises to a point of entrance; your home is in the way of water running downhill from another source and cannot be redirected before it enters.
In the first instance, some work may be done to improve the ability of the grounds around your property to absorb water and reduce the amount that ends up adjacent to the building.

This can only help so much in catastrophic flooding because the water will eventually overwhelm these barriers.

For the second and third reasons, you can dig covered drainage trenches around your house to divert large amounts of water to lower-lying terrain beneath or away from your house.

It’s also a good idea to think about how to redirect water from higher terrain away from your house so that it doesn’t run too near to it. Any such mitigation may necessitate interaction with neighbors and the city building department in your area. You don’t want to fix your problem by making another homeowner’s problem worse, and vice versa.

Construction Materials and Finishes
Modern building materials are more energy efficient and provide superior water resistance than older, more traditional building materials such as brick or weatherboard.

If you can’t replace your old walls and flooring, you can recoat them with impermeable materials that repel moisture and water.

If you reside in a flood-prone location, take advantage of the opportunity to renovate by installing concrete flooring or tiling on walls and floors where appropriate.

These products will make clean-up much easier and faster, as well as preventing the damage caused by water if it seeps inside your home.

Excessive Measures
The events of the previous year may have prompted some homeowners to seek more extreme, but longer-term solutions.

Lifting a home above the minimum flood design level or transferring a property within its current lot to higher land is a flood risk management tool that entails raising a home above the minimum flood design level.

Emergency Preparedness
Because improving your home’s flood resilience may take some time, we strongly advise you to think about how you’ll prepare for a flood in the meantime.

If you live in a flood-prone location, whether you can make alterations to your home or not, having a plan and being prepared to protect your loved ones, possessions, and personal files is now essential.