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How to Protect Your Home Against Flooding and Water Damage

With all this extreme weather circling Laramie County, we figured now would be a great time to fill y'all in on the secrets to protecting your home against flooding and water damage.

Whether caused by heavy hail or aggressive summer thunderstorms, flooding is one of the worst things you can face as a homeowner. The truth is, a great deal of water damage hides beneath the surface — behind your walls or underneath floor boards — making it difficult to locate the problem and make repairs. Better to take the proactive route!

Flooded living room

Tip #1: Inspect Your Roof

A wet, leaky roof can create soggy insulation and drywall, which leads to rot and mold. Those are two issues no one wants on their plate.

Often, the unseen damage caused by a leaky roof is far worse that what you can see on the surface — water stains, for example — so get a roofing contractor to check it over, well in advance of summer storms like what we've been experiencing lately.

A quality contractor will inspect your roof, check for undetected leaks, and offer up a quote for recommended repairs that might prevent more costly damage down the road.

Tip #2: Clean Your Gutters and Rain Spouts

Full gutters mean no drainage. To make sure water drains away from your home as intended, make sure to keep your gutters clean, repair leaks, and check regularly to see that they're emptying properly.

Additionally, we recommend using splash blocks or downspout extension pipes to make sure the water drains far, far away from your home's foundation. Doing so will prevent upheaval, a common concrete problem that happens when dry soil gets overwhelmed with excess moisture (you can read more about that here).

Tip #3: Trim Your Trees

If you have large trees growing around your home — particularly if their branches hang over the roof — you'll want to get them trimmed back. The last thing you want is for heavy rainfall to send a heavy one crashing through your roof.

Additionally, take a tour of your property and make note of any dead trees and shrubs. They are more likely to be broken and damaged during severe weather events.

Tip #4: Guard Your Basement and Foundation

To keep your basement dry and flood free, make sure that the ground surrounding your home's foundation slopes away from the house by at least six inches across the first ten feet or so.

Additionally, it's a great idea to install a sump pump like this one — a device designed to remove water that has accumulated in your home's sump basin. It'll do the hard work to ensure that water stays out of the pit and away from the building so your basement and crawl space stays dry.

Worried about water invading your foundation? Give us a call! Our expert team will make sure that your slabs are properly graded so that water will flow away from, and not toward, the house.

Tip #5: Take Record of Your Possessions

Taking a detailed home inventory (complete with photos) might seem like an unnecessary headache, but in the event of a disaster, you'll be glad you took the time.

Store this documentation in a waterproof container, far away from any possible rising water, and put a backup digital copy in the cloud while you're at it. This is also the time to make copies of important records (i.e. social security card, passport, titles). Better safe than sorry!

Other Quick Tips:

  • Repair sidewalks, patios, and driveways to keep them from pooling water

  • Fill your gardens with strong plants that minimize soil erosion

  • Clear snow away from your home's foundation during the winter

  • Set up a rain barrel to catch water runoff

  • Ask your plumber to install a backwater valve

  • Seal cracks around windows and in your basement foundation

  • Elevate your furnace and hot water tank off the floor

  • Minimize home water use, particularly during heavy rainfall

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