Learn How To Prevent Flooding. Home flooding is truly disastrous. Your personal belongings may be severely damaged and no insurance can cover your heavy losses that are not only material and financial ones but just moral and ethical. When you lose some things that are especially dear to you, no compensation can cover these losses. However, things are not so bad if you try and prevent the heavy damage from flooding in your home. There are just several simple steps that can be taken to avoid the issue or to reduce its effects to the minimum. The measures that are required will not take you much time and effort – just several days will be enough for making things properly.
Canada Always Suffers from Flooding
The most common reason for flooding in Canada is ice jams on the rivers. They are usually formed in two different ways – when the ice builds up on the rivers and when it starts melting and breaks up. The fragments of ice are collected in one place and they make up a natural obstacle to water flowing. When the ice melts in springs, there are many areas on the rivers that accumulate these pieces of ice and the obstruction to the water flow leads to its changing the direction and flooding the residential areas.
Even if the discharge of ice is not very big, the jam can be formed because the depth of the river does not allow for its maintenance. So, the water level rises and floods the nearby areas causing the residential damage.
One more cause of flooding is also related to ice jams. It comes to being when a huge ice jam is released. It is called a surging flow and it is quite powerful. It can move very fast reaching the speed of thirty-six kilometers per hour or ten meters per second. So, the water level increases quite rapidly and unexpectedly and you don’t have any time to take measures. Imagine that the speed of floating ice can reach five meters per second or eighteen kilometers per hour. The ice is carried very fast and it can cause much damage to the area it is carried through.
Flooding Can Damage Your House in 6 Different Ways
1. Foundation Cracks Caused by Flooding
The soil, especially that one consisting of clay, can absorb the excess water very quickly and in large amounts. Though, suc absorption is not performed evenly by the entire surface of soil. In some places, more water is taken and in others – no water at all. As long as most houses are constructed on concrete slabs, this shifting leads to cracking or lifting of one part of it. When something like that happens, the exterior basement walls start cracking too and the drain pipes embedded in them are also ruined as well as the roofs are sagged and badly damaged.
So, we can see the erosion caused by water that comes from beneath the foundation. If the house does not have any other protective variants, the water penetrates the foundation and floods the basement. The only way to deal with such a disaster is to evacuate your personal belongings and your family. Even after the flood is over and the basic damage is repaired, it may be unsafe to come back to the house. First of all, you should conduct a structural examination and assessment because you can never be sure that the house is durable enough to be secure for living in it.
2. Jammed or Broken Windows and Doors Are an Outcome of a Home Flood
The first structural elements in your house that can be affected by the foundation shifting are its doors and windows. You may encounter the distorted frames or broken glass. The doors or windows that have never provided any problem with opening do not open at all. It is the main sign of severe damage in the foundation caused by flooding.
3. Flood Leads to Drywall Issues
Excess water is always the main cause of mould on the drywall. It can also be badly damaged by it becoming soft and crumbling. The water can also cause much damage to insulation because it always absorbs moisture and holds it for a very long time. This is especially true when the insulation is made of natural fibres. So, think about replacing it or even the entire drywall and make the next insulation layer of the closed-cell foam that does not allow water to penetrate.
4. Fixtures, Flooring, and Furniture
It’s not a secret that flooding water consists of a lot of chemical elements and carries still more harmful substances. They can be sewage waste, bacteria, mud, and highly toxic ingredients. It happens because flooding often damages drain pipes and sewage systems as well as landfill sites.
If most of your household items are made of porous materials, they will dry out over time. Though, all the contaminants and chemicals that were carried by the flood will remain and make up a dangerous environment for your family. So, you will need to throw away such items as carpets and rugs, upholstered pieces of furniture, vinyl flooring, and mattresses if they were affected by flooding. Even if you decide to clean them properly, it may cost you a fortune. So, why not just replace them?
Other types of household ware such as things made of plastic metal, hardwood, or glass should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected as soon as possible.
5. Home Appliances Can Be Badly Damaged by Floods
Water doesn’t combine with electricity at all – it’s a statement that is undoubted. That is why it is so dangerous when your home appliances are submerged in rushing water. The first thing you should think about when the water starts flooding is unplugging everything in your home. You are lucky enough if you have managed to do it on time. If not, all your computers, fans, thermostats, wiring systems and fuses, heaters, and outlets should be replaced because they become useless.
One more unpleasant thing is that your oven or refrigerator may also have the insulation that was affected by water and contaminated. So, these appliances should also be replaced. Your microwave, washing machine, or dryer can also be damaged so you need to have them examined by a professional before you start using them again.
6. Home Floods Cause Mold Appearance
Mold is an unpleasant outcome of flooding. It can emerge in a very short time after flooding. Even 24-48 hours is enough for its appearance. This nasty consequence can cause allergies and breathing issues in your family members. That is why start thinking about how to clean all the surfaces with a 10% bleach solution or detergent that does not contain ammonia as soon as possible. When you use the detergent, try it out on some surface to exclude any further damage. Remember not to mix bleach with ammonia or you will receive toxic fumes. Do not try to evoke other issues apart from those that have already been caused by flooding.
Ways to Protect the House from Water Damage Caused by Flooding
- Eliminate Cracks
Always check your house for inside and outside cracks. They may appear on the walls, windows, foundation surfaces, or window wells. Never ignore them even if they are minor. Seal them regularly with tar and special mixtures to protect your house in case of emergency.
Protect the House from Its Upper Layers
Every house is equipped with downspouts and eavestroughs. If they are clogged or damaged, the risk of home flooding increases. So, look up quite often to see what you can improve in your upper layer protectors to make any amounts of water drain properly any time.
- All Leaks Should Be Immediately Fixed
The issue concerns not only your sewage and drainage system. Any pipe, facility, joint, and fuse in your home should not be leaking. It also refers to leaking roofs or minor cracks on the walls, in the foundation, or on the flooring. Even if the crack is tiny and you believe that only a small amount of water, if any, can penetrate the house, it is better to fix the crack and gain peace of mind. Even several drops can cause mold and, when once appeared, it will grow and damage the structure of your house and your health. Check your ceiling for any wet spots and marks. They can signal about the mold coming to being, so get rid of them immediately. Never ignore any minor issues around the windows or in the flooring of your basement and seal cracks immediately as soon as you have noticed them.
- A Sump Pump Is a Wise Solution
A sump pump is a very helpful device in case of any plumbing problems or flooding. Think about installing it in your home because it can protect you from the excess water efficiently. The appliance works by pumping the water from weeping tile where it is collected into a special place located at least at two-meter distance away from home. You should also equip your sump pump with a backup battery because flooding can also be accompanied with electricity blackouts and your pump may stop working when it is badly needed.
- Your Pipes Should Be Protected in Winter Time
When you do not use any insulation for your pipes, they can easily be damaged by frost in winter. The frozen pipes can burst or crack during the worsening of weather conditions and that will lead to bad flooding when they melt in spring. And you know for sure what will go on next. To prevent all that damage and mess, try to check whether all of your drain pipes are insulated properly with a special type of material or heat tape. Think about wrapping all the pipes in your home that are not used very often into a layer of insulation to feel protected.
- Back Ups Should Be Prevented
The main sewer line can be damaged badly or clogged and that will cause sewage backups in your toilet and other parts of your house. Try to avoid flushing any other things apart from the toilet paper down the pipe. It seems very clear but many people do not follow this advice. They also pour some grease in the drain pipe and then use chemical drain cleaners to unblock the pipe. Some strong chemical ingredients can just damage and corrode the pipe and lead to more issues. Finally, you need to be aware of the possible tree roots entering your plumbing system and blocking the pipes. You may believe that, if you do not have trees in your backyard, you may feel protected. Do not make this mistake – the roots from the trees growing next to your neighboring houses can penetrate your backyard and lead to the sewage backup.
- Clean Your Drains Regularly
All the drainage ditches and paths should be regularly cleaned out of debris and other obstructions and maintained properly to ensure their long lifespan and smooth work.
- The Importance of a Backwater Valve Installation
The presence of this backwater valve device in your home plumbing system is invaluable. It is the device that can stop flooding and sewage backup within your house, especially at times of heavy rains or snow melting. The only thing to remember is that you need to maintain the valve on a yearly basis after you have installed it.