It is a little-known fact that flooding is the number one natural disaster in the United States. The National Flood Insurance Program recently stated that an incredible $2.7 billion of damage has been caused by flooding between 2001 and 2010. Unfortunately, home insurance policies rarely cover flooding so individual policies must be purchased, and that is an expense that many people simply can't afford. By taking a few relatively simple steps, people can prepare their homes in order to minimize the effects of flooding.
Who is at Risk of Flooding?
Unfortunately, everyone in the U.S. is at risk of flooding. The hurricane belt of the Southern and Eastern states puts millions of homes at risk between August and October every year, and people living at the foot of mountain ranges such as those in Colorado are at risk of flooding from the melting snow that spring brings. Even those living in the Mojave Desert are at risk of flash floods - which cause immense damage with little or no warning. In short, no one in the U.S. is safe from the danger that flooding poses.
How You Can Protect Your Home
Mother Nature is difficult to keep at bay - impossible in some cases. However, that doesn't mean that preventative measures can't be taken to protect your home. For those fortunate enough to have flood insurance, minimizing the risk of property damage will minimize the risk of making a claim. Fewer claims will generally mean lower premiums.
1. Invest in Extra Protection for Your Roof
Replacing a roof may sound like an unnecessary expense, but installing a rubber underlay will provide you with a waterproof barrier that will reduce the risk of flooding from incessant rain.
2. Seal Off Foundation Cracks
Seasonal rains can lead to large amounts of surface water, and any cracks in your foundations will allow water to enter your home. The purchase of masonry caulk or expanding cement costs only a few dollars, and it will fill gaps with the minimum of effort.
3. Clear Gutters and Drains Regularly
Particularly during the fall, gutters and drains can become blocked with leaves and vegetation. Drains and gutters are the best defense your home has against flooding, so keeping them clear is essential. Weekly perimeter checks of your home should keep it ready for all eventualities. The installation of non-return valves will also mean that water can't pass through drains and gutters in the wrong direction.
4. Buy a Sump Pump
Most floods occur because the water from melting snow or precipitation simply overwhelms the nearby landscape, drains and gutters. A battery-operated sump pump will cost around $250, but it could be the difference between repelling flood waters and a huge clean-up bill.
5. Install French Drains
People living at the bottom of steep inclines are at an increased risk of flooding, and they may find it very difficult to find adequate flood insurance. However, a French drain will collect excess water and direct it away from a property before it can accumulate.
Most weather patterns in North America are seasonal, and that should aid you in your flood-protection planning. However, increasingly unpredictable weather events are catching people out, so homeowners need to stay in touch with local weather reports and flood warnings.
If you're concerned about flooding in your area, give Direct Flood Insurance Agency a call at 504-812-7811, and we will discuss your Louisiana flood insurance options with you. No matter where you are in the country, floods are possible. No matter where you are, you can get an easy quote and buy flood insurance directly from our website. Visit us today!