Flooding can happen unexpectedly and cause long-lasting damage quickly. Luckily, there are a multitude of measures you can take to mitigate your home. They vary in complexity and cost. The good news is that many of your options are relatively low cost and efficient, especially when you compare the cost of the mitigation measure to the cost of recovery and repair.
Suggestions to get your started
- Get flood insurance. Flood insurance isn’t usually the first thing homeowners think about when they consider mitigation. Even so, it’s an important financial tool that you can use to protect your home.
- Regularly clean out your gutters. Gutters, downspouts, and drains often get clogged with debris. When this happens, water can pool along your foundations and exacerbate flooding conditions. Gutter maintenance is relatively low-cost and can save you a lot of money in the long-run.
- Elevate your home. Elevating your home is one of the most effective flood mitigation actions you can take. Depending on your situation, it can be a costly undertaking. However, it will likely have a large impact on both your flood risk and your associated flood insurance costs. For more on the costs trade-offs of elevating, please refer to this FEMA fact sheet for homes in the AE Zone and this one for homes in the VE Zone.
- Seal low-level brick or concrete walls. Sealing low-level brick or concrete can help to keep water out of your home during less intense flood events. Like cleaning your gutters, it’s relatively affordable.
- Install flood vents. Flood vents are openings installed on the lowest levels of your home. They allow water to pass through spaces like garages or basements so that, in flood events, water pressure does not build up and threaten the structural integrity of your walls. Flood vents are sometimes required for new construction, depending on whether or not your property has an enclosure that is below the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). Even if you aren’t required to, you should consider installing them.