Living in coastal areas or places that receive heavy rainfall does come with its share of problems. Your home is exposed to the risk of flooding and subsequent damages, causing huge financial losses. While there is little you can do to control this natural phenomenon, you can resort to measures that reduce the chances of flood-damage. After all, prevention is better than cure. Here are six effective ways of making your abode flood-resistant where the threat is reduced to a minimum and will help you stay prepared for the worst.
1. Elevating The House
Structural elevation is an acknowledged measure to reduce flood risk and often the most efficient measure to reduce flood damage as well as insurance premiums. If you live in a region that is affected by shallow flooding or water stagnation after heavy rains, elevation is the only possible way to protect your home. An elevated building needs a new foundation base. This is done by jacking up the structure and briefly setting it up a temporary framework called cribbing. Beneath this framework, the foundation is built. The base foundation usually comprises piers, columns, raised foundation walls, or pilings. Homeowners across the globe are opting for the elevation of their houses as a preventive measure against flood-hazard.
However, please note, house elevation is not possible in old houses, connected row-houses, attached residential units, or town homes.
2. Pedestal Flooring
Elevating the whole house is labour intensive and expensive. As a substitute, choose pedestal flooring. It primarily means raised floor without disturbing or digging the existing foundation. A raised floor for an outdoor decking area or integrating raised pavers into your outdoor space can be achieved by pedestal flooring. Raised floor pedestal systems work by utilizing height-adjustable self-levelling supports for uneven substrates. The gaps in between the pedestal floors act as waterproofing membrane that drain out excess water quickly and encourage air circulation.
3. Relocating Power Connections
If your power sockets, HVAC equipment, electrical systems, and wiring are on the ground floor, they naturally would get damaged by water flooding into your house. As a preventive measure, it is wise to raise the sockets and move the utilities to higher floors or attics. Besides this, wall mounting your TV and wiring from the ceiling are great ways of building flood-resistant homes.
If flood water is close to reaching your electrical system, it is safe to shut off electricity at the breaker panel.
4. Building Floodwalls
An alternative to elevating the house is building floodwalls. This has been an effective measure since ancient times when they were built around villages or coastal districts. The same technique is applicable for individual homes. Perimeter walls with watertight gates or incorporating berms and walls into the landscaping keep floodwater out. In worst cases, the garden gets flooded but keeps the house dry.
5. Installing Sewage Water Backstop
A sewage water backstop is basically a valve installed in the sewer that lies along the pipe floor. When water backs up towards the house, it gets pushed upright preventing sewage from flowing backward. This is a great measure to stop the sewage flowing into your house when drains are flooded or submerged in rainwater. The backwater prevention valve generally has a clear top to see if it is functioning properly. A licensed plumber will cut a hole in the concrete floor near the floor drain, cut a portion from the main sewer line, and replace it with the new valve. Do check with your local authority for permission to install the valve.
6. Waterproof Flooring
Floors made of porous stones or wooden boards are prone to water damage. The level of moisture absorption also depends on how long the floor is submerged in water. Experts advise Porcelain or Slatestone as a flooring material since the stones have minimal water absorption and zero chances of water damage. Irrespective of using stones like Travertine, Granite, or Limestone, the harm can be avoided by correct installation and adhesion. The bonding adhesive and correct method of installation hence are important factors to consider. Low-quality adhesive gets washed away or separated by water and displaces the stone.
Stones with wood or mud substrate would never hold tight and get displaced during floods. Hence concrete substrate is highly recommended for floor base. Plank floors You should also ensure the grouting is of non-porous material. In the case of porous stone flooring, use good quality sealant and reseal the stones frequently.
Incessant rainfall and resulting floods in Australia are wreaking havoc. The only feasible remedy is to shift to shelters or dry areas till the water level recedes. Floods may happen again as climate change is rapid and extreme nowadays. Remodelling your home with the above-mentioned methods can minimize your loss and set an example for others to follow.
*Disclaimer: All information and advice given above in the blog are to the best of our knowledge. Please reconfirm at your end before execution.