Usually I write about chimneys and fireplaces in my blogs but I am going to stray off subject a little because of all the rain and flooding that we have been experiencing in the last week. I can’t believe that we’ve had as much rain as we usually receive in a year in 6 days! The loss of property and possessions can’t compare to the loss of lives of many of our fellow citizens and I would like to send their loved ones my thoughts and prayers.
Although we can’t change the present day we can make sure that in the future, we won’t be as exposed. I am not saying that you can completely flood proof your home especially from the torrential rains that we have received from Hurricane Harvey but there are some precautions if you own a home, condo or live in an apartment that you can take to lessen the damages of storms on a smaller scale.
1 – When the land around your house has been properly graded; water drains away from your basement walls. It can make a difference when you have smaller water accumulations. Experts suggest that a good slope to aim for when grading land extending out from a house foundation is about 6 inches for the first 10 feet which comes up to a slope of 5%
2 – Sidewalks, patios, decks and driveways shift over time and by repairing them you can stop water from pooling close to the home.
3 – Landscaping your front and back yard and gardens with plants and vegetation that will minimize soil erosion.
4- Make sure that your gutters are in working order (clean leaves and debris from them regularly and that you have flexible downspouts installed that drain water three to six feet away from your home.
5 – Window well covers don’t cost that much and come in a wide range of materials and sizes. Consider getting window well covers so that water does not accumulate near windows and the foundation.
6- Loose or missing shingles are an inviting entry point for water. Ensure that damaged shingles are repaired or replaced.
7- A footing drain or French drain is a drainage system that is installed on the outside the foundation wall near the wall footing which pipes water from the gutters and roof to a catch basin or sometimes directly into the ground that is in turn pumped to daylight or to a storm drain. It relieves a lot of pressure on the drainage system so hiring a licensed plumber to ensure that the footing drain is in good working order is a must.
Bonus: Chimneys are also an entry point for water. Installing a chimney cap will prevent rain from entering the chimney.
Nothing could have prepared us for the storm of the millennium but if the flooding that we had last year is any indication, we’re in for the long haul with extreme weather and precipitation.