You’ve heard the stories, or maybe even experienced a basement flood of your own.  Whether it’s an old copper pipe, poor weatherproofing, or filled gutters during a heavy rain, issues arise and damage occurs.

But how can you, as the homeowner, organize your basement in a way that helps prevent further damage of your personal belongings?

We have some tips that may help you!

1.     Take an inventory of your items.  In the situation of a natural disaster, it is really important to have an inventory of the items that really matter to you.  While going through these items, it is important to get rid of the extra clutter. The less you have in the area, the less will be in the way if flooding does happen. It’s also a good idea to have a photo or video of items that are in at risk areas. These can help to identify damage after a flood has occurred.

2.  Create a diagram of plumbing fixtures, lights, electrical outlets, and main water shut-off valves.  When an emergency arises, this diagram will help you navigate the area quickly without having to think too hard about it.

3.  Safe guard your valuables.  Placing your valuables in water proof containers, and labeling those containers will be helpful for you when water issues arise.

4.   Do your best to get all items off of the floor and elevated on shelves at least one foot off of the ground, if possible.  Many household floods are a foot or below so this will give you at least a twelve inch buffer.

5.  Secure and clear space around all of your essential appliances, and if possible, secure them to a wall.  If possible, securing them to the wall AND raising them a foot off the ground would be most helpful.

6.  Seal your foundation and basement walls. During a home’s construction walls, floors, and foundations are waterproofed with a sealant, but over time those seals can deteriorate or leak through hairline cracks in the foundation or walls. Doing a walk through to find those weak points could save you a lot of time, energy, money, and heartache.

7.  Install a sump-pump and flood vents. Sump pumps are an excellent line of defense for your home when waters rise. They draw in water and pump it out away from the house. Flood vents are small permanent openings that allow flood water to flow through an enclosure like a crawlspace or garage.  This keeps the water pressure low to protect walls and foundations of homes.

Protecting your assets, from your home to your precious belongings, is important to you as a homeowner.  Our hope is that these suggestions will help you prepare for the unexpected and worry less about damage to your belongings knowing you did what you could to prepare. If you find yourself unprepared or the damage has gotten to be too much, call us.  We are here to help.  1-800-ZOE TEAM