10 Ways To Protect Your Home From Flooding

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Flooding is a disaster that occurs due to the overflow of water that submerges a usually dry land. This may be quite hard to distinguish at times for it can start with a low-level water buildup, yet builds gradually and eventually reaches high peaks.

There are many possible property damages resulting from flood. These may come in the form of water or mold damages.  A flood may result in lesser damage than other disasters, but this isn’t a reason to ignore it. This may also bring diseases like leptospirosis, so it’s best to plan ahead in floodproofing your house and talk to an engineer to make it happen.

Also, one should know that some insurance policies wouldn't cover payment or transactions resulting from natural disasters, like storms, tsunamis, or hurricanes. Instead, insurance only covers accidents, like an overflow from a sink and bathtub.

Thus, aside from ensuring one's safety, floodproofing a home may be more wallet-friendly than having to pay for hospital bills. If you’re in the North Carolina area, you may want visit multiple websites for flooding and water damage restoration in Sanford, NC.

How To Floodproof Your Home

Here are ten ways to protect your home from flooding:

1.    Renovate Your Home

Property renovation will cost a lot of money, but it will also ensure people’s safety. Floodproofing your home is a significant investment rather than staying in a center when a disaster happens. You can talk to an engineer to negotiate about floodproof materials that may be used in renovating your home.

2.    Perform A Risk Assessment

A risk assessment evaluates the likelihood of your location suffering from a flood. In history, torrents have been tracked by the site in zones where it can likely happen.

Although flood risk assessments may be considered biased by many, they still provide valuable information for many home and property owners. The Internet provides a lot of services on how to locate places that are most susceptible to flood. This is usually shown through color-coding zones.

Blue Zones

These are most expected to face serious flooding at least once every century. These might seem like minimal flood occurrences, but these areas still require floodproofing efforts.

Orange Zones

These locations are expected to flood at least once every five centuries. These locations are suggested rather than the blue zones.

Yellow Zones

Areas in yellow zones have undetermined flood risks. Thus, the location’s flood history must be determined by asking the community how often floods occur in that particular place.

Blue With Red Stripes

Areas in this category are the most susceptible and vulnerable to flood because these zones are regulatory floodways. It's essential to take extra precautions when purchasing a home near these places. These areas often include a river and its surrounding floodplains.

3.    Regularly Clean And Check Drainage Systems

Drainage systems must be regularly checked to avoid blocking water from passing through. If you live in a location where trees and plants are common, it’s vital to periodically check for leaves, dust, debris, or other foreign materials that mustn't be piled up on your roof, especially inside your vent's drainage pathways. If you’re dealing with leaves, there are many electrical leaf blowers you can try to get this job done.

If severe blockages happened, it’s better to immediately call your community sewer to pick up the debris and throw these at the right places. Also, most drainage systems are connected to your neighbors. Thus, it's essential to build good communication within them and ensure that your drainage is safe for you and them.

Moreover, it’s suggested to upgrade drains to a one-way valve to prevent the backflow of the water. This upgrade may be applied by a licensed plumber.

4.    Fill The Gaps Of Your Foundation

Cracks may seem small, but they can be an excellent opportunity for a large amount of water to enter your home. Use coatings and sealants to fill these cracks in the foundation, walls, windows, and doorways to prevent floodwater from leaking into your home. The earlier these cracks get detected, the earlier damages are spotted and get reduced.

If water still seems to leak continuously, it’s better to try a more permanent solution. These coatings will only help temporarily.

5.    Purchase A Battery-Powered Sump Pump

A sump pump is a naturally constructed pit usually located at the basement of every home. This pump is used to remove water from the water collecting basin, therefore, preventing floodwater from accumulating inside your home.

Also, the usual sump pump is electrically powered, so it may be hard to stop flood when the electricity shuts down. A battery-powered sump pump will be more efficient and just needs to be checked if there’s enough battery supply to perform the tasks. Also, it’s important to regularly provide a battery for backup just in case it runs out of power.

6.    Install Water Sensor And Flood Detection Systems

Flood sensors are a piece of add-on equipment for every home security system. There are a lot of varieties when it comes to flood sensors. The more complex you get, the more it ensures the safety of your home. These sensors detect even the smallest amount of water, and immediately alert you before a disaster may happen.

7.    Elevate Power Sources And Switches

The biggest fear when fighting with water is electricity. When these two factors meet, lives will be in danger and properties may get most dramatically damaged. You can't run anywhere when there’s a flood, for the threat of electrocution will also be everywhere.

Thus, circuit breakers, outlets, switches, and sockets must all be elevated one foot above flood level to prevent electrical damage. Also, if you know that there's a flood coming, make sure to turn off all electrical sources to ensure safety. No one knows how high a flood can get. If not possible, provide electric cover for outlets and power sources to avoid being reached by the floodwater.

8.    Reposition Your Lawn Away From Your Home

Many homeowners find it pleasing to have a lawn, garden, or a peaceful place to settle their minds. Yet, these places may also endanger their lives if not properly handled. A land tilting towards your house increases the chances of it getting flooded. This is because the water gets dragged and pools towards your home.

Although plants can absorb water, they can't act immediately and hold a lot of water in a fast manner. Flood water moving to the corners of your house may eventually find its way inside the doorsteps and the basement of your home.

Remember that a lawn can easily be designed and redirected. In case you don’t know how it’s done, you may ask a professional to handle the situation. In cases where you want to save money, many do-it-yourself videos and materials are uploaded on the Internet that to guide you in doing the process.

9.    Try Waterproofing Your Valuables

Not only the house needs protection from floods, but also the valuables. Items that possess sentimental meaning must be kept in good storage areas. It’s also essential to find an elevated area for documents, like birth certificates, passports, bank files, and others, on the top of your drawer or shelves. If not possible to waterproof them, there’s an easy way to keep them protected from water intrusion. One may use zip lock bags to avoid the documents getting reached by water.

Aside from these documents, you can also elevate appliances, like washing machines, electricity generators, air conditioning units, water heaters, and dryers. Not only can these appliances suffer direct damage from water intrusion, they might also cause electrocution, particularly if they have damaged wires or were used when they haven’t dried enough.

Waterproofing your valuables and appliances reduces the effects of water damage. This saves money instead of buying a replacement for the appliances drowned in the flood.

10.  Install Flood Barriers

Flood barriers are removable flood control equipment that can be immediately deployed once a flood warning is given to an area. They’re also commonly known as a floodgate.

Flood barriers may also be fixed to the wall of either side of your door. Many of them are designed to slide into two permanent upright channels. These might seem like simple equipment, but many have witnessed how can they lessen the cleanup process, damage, and insurance claims.

Not everyone can afford to install a flood barrier, so there are some alternatives, like sandbags. These work like floodgates and can protect an area from getting flooded. Their smaller structures make it hard for the water to pass through. Still, sandbags can only cover a small space, like doorsteps and low-level windows. Even though it’s effectiveness might not be as significant as the real flood barriers, it comes in handy for emergencies.


A flood isn’t an immediate disaster, which means that everyone can prepare for it.  Thus, it's essential to know the different ways you can keep your home protected from its possible dangers.

As mentioned in the article, steps like knowing your property zone, observing general practices for home renovation, and buying equipment may be the initial steps one can take to floodproof their property. Implementing simple waterproofing tips, such as elevating appliances and valuables, and cleaning one’s drainage system may also be of help.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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