Rain and warming temperatures could cause flooding, check out some things every homeowner can do to avoid flood damage, from Roy Spencer, owner of Perma-Seal Basement Systems.
Before the Flood
All it takes is a few inches of water to cause major damage to your home and its contents.
1. Shovel/remove the snow away from your foundation and siding.
2. Make sure your sump pump discharge hose is free/clear and not frozen.
3. Check that the battery on your backup pump is charged.
4. Clear your window well drains, sewer drains and any landscaping drains in your yard.
5. Even if you’ve never had water in your basement, be sure to check carefully for any moisture that may find its way in due to possible expansion of small cracks.
6. Place important papers/documents in a watertight container and keep them close. Take the container with you if evacuating or place in a high and dry location if sheltering in place.
7. Identify and move electronics and other expensive items (computers, televisions, phone systems, area rugs, expensive furniture) on lower levels of the home and elevate if possible to keep them dry.
After the Flood
1. Take photographs of damage throughout the building and around the property. Assess stability of plaster and drywall. Bulging or swelling ceilings indicate damage. Press upward on drywall ceilings. If nail heads appear, drywall will need to be re-nailed but can be saved.
2. Check foundation for any loose or missing blocks, bricks, stones or mortar.
3. Empty basement water at a rate of about one-third per day to avoid structural damage to foundation by rapid pressure change.
4. Clean and disinfect heating, air conditioning and ventilation ducts before use to avoid spread of airborne germs and mold spores. Use fans and sunlight to dry out interior spaces. Remove all wet carpets, curtains and fabrics. Allow to air dry completely.