Tips in case of Flooded Building
Many people experience floods in their homes no matter if it’s an apartment, condo, house or building. Still, there are things that can be done before the building gets flooded to reduce damage. Thus the following tips could teach you what to do to decrease the water damage to your property. Read on, please!
First and foremost, you should have information about your flood risk. Nowadays, most town councils enlist such important data in their official web-pages thus you are only a clock away from receive valuable data about the flood risk in the area where your building is situated.
Second, check the sump pump, if you have such, and if necessary, clean it up as well as the pit, if you have easy access to it; if not, call a professional, it is not that expensive and can definitely save you money. After doing this, you can check the pump by pouring water into the pit. Besides, why not purchase some portable sump pump! In case you live in a house, ensure that the discharge hose guides the water from the house to a well-drained area that slopes away from your home. Because if the hose is too close to the building or on flat ground, the waste water could simple return back and ruin the foundation of the building. In case you live in a city area, guiding the sump-pump water to the sanitary system could simply overload the entire system and cause sewage backup; besides, remember that it is totally illegal!
Third, in case you see that the building is getting flooded, be adviced to move all valuables to some higher position in the room or even on an upper floor. Valuable possessions or emotionally valuable ones should be, say, family photos and photo albums, high-school yearbooks, documents, personal data CDs or other memory devices, laptop and PCs, insurance policies, household inventories, to name but a few, should be moved to high shelves where water cannot damage them. When talking of important documents, I am sure all of us want to leave those unpaid bills for the water to damage them, but since we all know this won’t save us from paying them up, it is best if you place even the bills on those high shelves together with the other important documents! What’s more, you can as well make copies of your most valuable documents and store them in another location that is not likely to get flooded.
Fourth, check the bathroom and the toilet since any floating plugs could plug the drain and cause the water that has flooded the building already to rise its level.
Fifth, you can do something for the basement – remove the grid, if any, purchase a plug that has a rubber center that expands to fill the pipe when the top and bottom metal plates are squeezed (some hardware stores sell those). So that flexible rubber ball can be wedged into the drain to create a tight seal; the pressure could get too high thus brace the ball securely against the ceiling. Hold a board or piece of plywood on the ceiling and slide against the bottom of the board to avoid damage to plaster ceilings. For a suspended tile ceiling, remove ceiling tiles to get access to the ceiling joints.
Sixth, you can also reduce the flooding from other drains – Unbolt toilets from the floor and plug the outlet pipe using the very same procedure as for floor drains. Shower drains can be plugged this way as well. Most washing machines and basement sinks have their drain connections about 3 feet above the floor so may not overflow if the water doesn’t get that high. If necessary, these drains can be disconnected and capped or plugged with expandable plugs or braced rubber balls.
Seventh, you need to protect your home appliances as well – why not elevate the washing and drying machines a bit, say, on some lumber boards; in this way you can keep their motors above the flood level if the water hasn’t reached too high a level, that is. Of course, there is yet another option, you can simple move the machines to a higher floor of the building, that is if you have such access. You are also adviced to shut down all the pieces of equipment from the fuse box or breaker panel. If the water level is already too high and you cannot move any of the appliances, just wrap the equipment in polyethylene film, typing the film in place with some cord or rope for better protection. In case you have any gad-fired appliances in your household, say, gas-fired clothes dryers or hot water heaters, to name but a few, it is wisest to shut off the gas centrally and disconnect the appliances from the gas lines. Since rapidly rising waters could simply float the dryer and floating appliances could break the gas line and cause tremendous hazard.
Eighth, all hazardous materials should be moved to areas of the building where water is less likely to reach – materials such as paint, oil, cleaning detergents, to name but a few.
Ninth, be adviced that all the adults living in the building know what to do in case of a flooding, all of us should stay calm and act in the right way so that to preserve our lives and the building; it is also wisest to teach children old enough the basics in case the building gets flooded. Teach them where electric fuse boxes, water service mains natural gas mains are and how to turn them off.
All in all, any of us runs the risk of getting their building flooded so be prepared and know the basics in case of flooding so that to able to act on the spot without fear.