Last winter, the Mini-Cassia region of the Magic Valley was hit with massive amounts of snow, and as a result, massive amounts of water and flooding. This of course led to the damage of several roads, fields, and homes. Many of us who live in the Burley area want to be better prepared for whatever this winter season has to throw at us. How can we better protect our homes from potential flood damage if another extreme winter comes along? Here are 10 ways you can prepare your Mini-Cassia home or business for a Southern Idaho-style winter:
1. Inspect Your Roof. A leaky roof can lead to mold and rot in the attic, which of course can affect the overall health of your house – not to mention the health of your family! Inspect your roof for possible leaks, and make any repairs needed in order to save you from having to make costly repairs later down the road!
2. Install Sewer Backflow Valve. While Mini-Cassia may not be prone to frequent flooding, it’s important to note that rising water can cause sewage backup into homes through drainpipes. This is both a cause for damage and a risk to health – not to mention it’s really, really gross! Depending on where you live, it may be worth it to install a backflow valve in the drain line. These devices have a flapper-like feature that can close automatically when the need arises, and oftentimes have a manual valve as well to give you peace of mind.
3. Take Inventory. In the event of needing to make an insurance claim, it’s vital to have proper documentation. Taking inventory of your personal possessions, along with having necessary photos and videos, and keeping it in a water-proof container, online, or even in a safe deposit box can prove invaluable. In the event you have to make an insurance claim, this evidence will come in handy!
4. Protect HVAC Equipment. Flooding can damage furnaces and air conditioning units, so make sure any HVAC equipment in flood prone areas is installed above the level that water could reach. Electrical systems components – including service panels, meters, switches, and outlets – should all be raised one foot or more above the base flood elevation (BFE). Washers and dryers – especially those located in a basement – should be elevated if possible. One way to elevate them is to place them on cinder blocks.
5. Reseal Your Basement. If you notice water in your basement after heavy rain when you’ve never had a problem, it may mean that the cement floors and basement walls have deteriorated. Paint these vulnerable areas with water sealant in order to prevent further seepage.
6. Make Sure Water Drains Away From the Building. Make sure water can’t enter your home from anywhere outside through the foundation. If water pools near the base of your home, it could potentially get inside if the grading at the perimeter doesn’t slope away from the house. Large puddles of water that can’t sink into the ground eventually will end up somewhere, and you don’t want the somewhere to be your basement!
7. Store Items in Waterproof Bins. Replacing personal possessions can be costly, and some personal items are irreplaceable. Protect your possessions – whether they be priceless family heirlooms, off-season decorations, important documents, or extra household goods – by keeping them in water-proof containers, especially if they’re kept in the basement most of the year. Never store valuables where they may potentially be damaged by water!
8. Check Showers and Tubs. This is important home maintenance whether it’s the winter season or not. Make sure the seal and caulking are watertight and reseal if needed. Caulking is very inexpensive and can save time and money in the future.
9. Consider Installing Water Alarms. These work much like smoke alarms. When water is detected, an alarm is triggered which warns you of a water threat. These can be placed in basements, laundry rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, or next to the sump pump. Water alarms can be purchased from Amazon, Honeywell, and Home Depot, among other places.
10. Maintain Tree Roots. If tree or plant roots are close enough to your home, there may be a risk of the roots wrapping around – and breaking! – your pipes. If possible, try to minimize landscaping near any utility pipes. If necessary, remove plants that may have grown too big near the house or building as well.
These are just a few of the simple measures you can take to protect your Mini-Cassia home from – and prevent – possible water damage this winter and in the years to come. If you do experience water or flood damage, however, don’t hesitate to call us here at Elite Restoration. We offer 24 hour emergency response all year long with a 1 hour or less response time, and can help you throughout the entire process of restoring your home back to its original state! Call Elite Restoration in Burley today!