Water can produce disastrous results. Over the years, the U.S. has lost billions in flood damage, with 2016 being particularly a bad year as 19 floods (the most in a single year in the past four decades) swamped different parts of the country. Flood damage is not good news for multifamily property owners, especially for owners in states such as Texas that are highly vulnerable to heavy rains and flooding. The key to avoiding water damage in your property is taking precautionary steps in advance.
To help, in this post, we have compiled a list of to-do-things to prepare your property for floods.
1. Check the Sump Pump
Using a functional sump pump will help you direct water away from your property after a flood. Make sure the pump is functional and test by pouring water into the pit. Check the discharge hose and ensure it delivers water to a well drained area, away from your property. The hose outlet must be away from the property’s foundation. Most importantly make sure the pump does not delivers water into a sanitation system, as it may be illegal in certain states.
2. Check the Drainage System
A dysfunctional drainage system can cause water build-up in the property often resulting in extensive damage. To address this problem, inspect your drainage system at regular intervals. Clean the gutters. Look for and fix leaks that may direct water towards the property’s foundation. The downspout foundation must direct water at least four feet away from the foundation. If you find a slope issue, contact a contractor immediately to fix the problem. Prefer using drain snakes over chemicals that can wear down and erode pipes.
3. Inspect Windows and Foundation
Cracks in windows and foundation provide easy access points to water that can seep in through these gaps and cause extensive damage. Check the windows and foundation regularly and fix gaps with preventive material. Consider hiring a structural engineer, if you encounter large cracks. To prevent water from entering basement and low-level window wells, use a well cover. Install flashing around windows and roofing.
4. Prevent Sewer Backup
Sewer backup forms when flood water enters the sewage system, overloading it and pushing the water back into the property. To avoid this problem, plug all sewer openings including toilets, floor drains, sinks and showers. You can use wooden and expandable plugs or screwed caps for this purpose. Opt for professional inspection and clean up at regular intervals. Instruct your tenants to avoid disposing materials such as cooking grease and large chunks of food down the pipe as they can choke the system.
5. Move Appliances to High Ground
Flood water can cause extensive damage to appliances, often rendering them useless. When installing appliances (for fully furnished units), use masonry or lumber to elevate washers and dryers at least 12” above the expected flooding level. You can also secure the appliances’ motor by building a floodwall around them. Wrap bulky appliances in a polythene film and use a cord or rope to tie it.
6. Inspect the Roofing System Regularly
Water can seep through roof leaks causing extensive property damage in the event of heavy rains. To avoid this problem, inspect the roofing system at regular intervals. Look for missing or damaged shingles and replace them with new ones. Fix leaks, gaps and ponding surfaces immediately after spotting them. Clean the gutters regularly by using a trowel to get rid of accumulated leaves and debris. Check the flashing around valleys, skylights, vents and pipes and fix punctures.
Prevent Water Damage in Your Property
Water damage in properties are difficult to reverse and can consume a significant amount of time and resources. To minimize losses, it is advisable that you follow these simple yet handy tips. It is also highly recommended that you contact a disaster restoration expert after flood. United Renovations is your one stop destination for professional disaster renovation services, multi family renovation services and asset repositioning services. To discuss a project, fill out our contact form or simply call (972) 818-1065.