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Tips to Prevent Flooding in Your Colorado Springs Home

With record-breaking rainfall in May, golfball sized hail in June and flooding in streets, yards and parks throughout the city during the past few mon...
Wednesday, 08 July 2015
Tips to Prevent Flooding in Your Colorado Springs Home

With record-breaking rainfall in May, golfball sized hail in June and flooding in streets, yards and parks throughout the city during the past few months, the weather in Colorado Springs has been unusually wet during the past two months.

Although the much needed rain comes with its benefits, like being able to keep your sprinklers turned off or avoiding washing your car because you know it will rain just minutes after you've dried it, excessive moisture doesn't always leave room for celebration.

In an area with many hills for water to run down and low land for water to gather, the potential for a home to flood in a basement or on its ground level is high.

Although it's easy to hope that no flooding occurs and to think you'll just deal with the aftermath if it happens, flood damage can be costly and can happen quickly. With the reoccurrence of rain almost every afternoon, as soon as damage is found it will be vital to fix the problem immediately to avoid further damage, but it would be easiest to avoid flooding altogether by taking flooding precautions. There are preventative measures you can take around your house and yard to lessen any flooding and damage to your property.

Windows and Window Wells

One of the easiest places to prevent flooding and window damage during heavy rain is in a window well or low-sitting window.When a basement has a window, it is accompanied by a window well to allow sunlight and for emergency exit purposes.

The bottom of the well is typically a PVC drain pipe that is capped and then drilled to allow rain or water to pass through. The top of the drain is then covered with large rocks to allow water to flow through but to prevent any blockage or drain clogs.

During the fall or winter months, it's easy to allow leaves, dirt and debri to fall into the window well and to plan to remove it once summer comes, but if the the debri is not removed it can cause a clog in the drainage system and water can build up in the well. This can cause a number of problems and situations. If the windows are not new and sealed correctly, water can leak through the window and into the basement. Mold can form in the window and the wood surrounding the window can rot.

To prevent flooding in the basement through a window well, inspect your basement window to be sure there are no cracks or sealing problems. Be sure to check all window wells for debri and clean them out consistently. Lastly, consider installing a window well cover. The cover will fasten over the window and can be fully covered to keep any rain from entering the well or can be grated to keep debri from falling in.

Gutters and downspouts

Cleaning and maintaining gutters is one of the most inexpensive and important ways to prevent flooding damage. Keeping gutters free of leaves, dirt and debri and making sure that downspouts are positioned away from the house and to an area where the water won't sit can make a big difference in water pooling and damaging the house.

Water can be damaging to a house's foundation so it's good to make sure the downspout is directing water a few feet away from the house and that there is no blockage to keep the water from draining.

Landscaping

Landscaping a yard is a great way to add curb appeal to your home, but it can also be a preventative measure for flooding and rain. A certain slope in the yard or the way plants are set throughout your property can contribute to the flow of water when it rains.

Try to make sure the lawn slopes away from the house. Plant flowers or bushes to block some of the water drainage toward the house.

House Foundation

Moisture in itself can be damaging to a house's foundation but add cracks to the mix and you're asking for some pricey repairs. By addressing any cracks in the foundation of your home right away you can avoid water intrusion such as basement flooding, molding inside of the house, and even unsafe foundation shifts.

Inspect your house for cracks when possible and if you come across any damage, call a professional to get the proper restoration advice.

Sump Pump

Installing a sump pump is one of the most popular and easiest ways to keep your basement floor from filling with water and causing damage. A sump pump pumps the water back to the top of the yard and is quite effective at combating flooding and the nightmares of cleaning and repair that come with it.

There is one caveat, though: for a sump pump to work it must be maintained. A sump pump, like any machine, can fail. It's important to check to make sure the pump is set up properly and is continuing to work.

During extremely heavy rainfall or if it rains for a long time, it's always a smart idea to continue to check to make sure the sump pump is working. Loss of power during a heavy storm is always a possibility, so think about investing in a generator for the sump pump to continue to work through an outage.

Septic Systems

Cleaning your septic system is probably not the first chore on your honey-do list, but that doesn't make it any less important than any other regular house maintenance. Inspecting your sewer and cleaning the septic tank is a good way to avoid sewer backups and clogs, which are common when the systems aren't maintained.

This is the type of chore that seems messy, but could end up much messier if the septic tank overflows into your yard - gross!

Skylights

Inspecting and maintaining skylight windows may seem easy enough, but with the continuous downpour of large hail, it's important to check the windows after storms. Although it isn't likely that the hail will completely shatter your skylight, it could cause small cracks or damage which could potentially lead to leaks and flooding.

If there does seem to be damage, be sure to hire a professional window replacement in Colorado Springs to fix the skylight, which can be quite dangerous to replace on your own. A local window replacement company will be able to evaluate the typical weather in Colorado Springs and suggest options that make sense in this environment, whereas ordering a window online can be confusing and risky.

Even when taking every preventative measure necessary there's still always the chance that flooding can still occur. Flooding can be a small annoyance at first but can cause larger issues like mold, foundation cracks and a ruined yard, which is why it's important to check with your homeowner's insurance to be sure that flooding is included in your insurance costs and to check to see under what conditions you're covered.

Some policies require houses to have sump pump installed as a preventative measure or it won't cover damage costs. If you're unsure about your insurance and all that it entails, talk to your agent and make sure you're covered, just in case. Being a homeowner is a big responsibility and it isn't always easy, but knowing what your insurance covers and taking the preventative measures to avoid flooding issues will help you to keep your home running smoothly.

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