Heavy Rainfall is Not Just Rain. How to Protect Your House

Heavy Rainfall is Not Just Rain. How to Protect Your House

5 minute read

Heavy rainfall can be a real headache. Moreover, it can cause probably the most dangerous type of flood—flash floods.

But don't panic! With a little preparation, you can keep your home safe and dry. So, today, let's talk about some simple steps you can take to get ready for those heavy downpours.

It is Not Just a Rain: Here is What you Need to Know About Heavy Rainfall

Floods caused by heavy rainfall are quite common, especially in certain parts of the United States. Flash floods, in particular, can occur very quickly with little warning, making them especially dangerous.

Frequency of Flash Floods

  • Seasonal Patterns: Flash floods are most common during the spring and summer months, when thunderstorms are more frequent.
  • Geographic Hotspots: Areas like the Midwest, Southeast, and parts of the Southwest experience frequent flash floods. States like Texas, Louisiana, and Florida are particularly prone.

heavy rainfall guide

Why Are Flash Floods Dangerous?

Flash floods are incredibly dangerous for several reasons:

  1. Speed and Unpredictability: Flash floods can develop in just a few minutes to a few hours after heavy rainfall. This rapid onset gives little time for preparation or evacuation.
  2. Force of Water: The sheer force of floodwaters can be devastating. It only takes six inches of fast-moving water to knock an adult off their feet, and just two feet of water can carry away most vehicles.
  3. Widespread Damage: Flash floods can damage homes, sweep away vehicles, destroy bridges, and wash out roads, causing widespread destruction and making rescue operations difficult.
  4. Health Risks: Floodwaters can be contaminated with sewage, chemicals, and debris, posing serious health risks. Standing water also promotes the growth of mold, which can cause respiratory issues.

Statistics on Flash Flood Costs for American Homeowners

Flash floods are not just dangerous but also costly. Here are some eye-opening statistics:

  1. Annual Costs: Flash floods cause an average of $8 billion in damages annually in the United States.
  2. Homeowner Impact: The average insurance claim for flood damage is around $30,000. However, many homeowners do not carry flood insurance, leaving them to cover the costs out-of-pocket.
  3. Widespread Economic Impact: Beyond individual homes, flash floods cause significant economic disruption. In 2019 alone, the U.S. experienced 14 billion-dollar weather and climate disasters, including severe storms and flooding.
  4. Historical Costs: The Great Flood of 1993, which affected the Midwest, caused approximately $15 billion in damages. More recently, Hurricane Harvey in 2017 resulted in about $125 billion in damage, with significant contributions from flooding.

How to Protect Your House When it Starts Raining

  1. Check Your Roof: Make sure there are no missing or damaged shingles. A leaky roof can quickly turn a rainy day into a disaster.
  2. Seal Windows and Doors: Inspect the seals around your windows and doors. If you see any gaps or cracks, use caulk to seal them up. This will help keep water out and prevent drafts.
  3. Clear the Yard: Remove any debris, like leaves or branches, from your yard. These can block drainage paths and lead to flooding.
  4. Inspect the Foundation: Check for any cracks in your home's foundation. If you find any, seal them with waterproofing materials to prevent water from seeping in.
  5. Get Flood Barriers: Easy to install and remove, flood barriers can seal every passage in your house, protecting it from floodwater. Since they can be installed in just a few minutes, flood barriers are great against flash floods as well.

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Tips on Checking and Improving Drainage Around Your Property

  1. Clean Gutters and Downspouts: Make sure your gutters and downspouts are clear of leaves and debris. This allows rainwater to flow freely and away from your home.
  2. Extend Downspouts: Ensure downspouts extend at least three feet from your house. This helps direct water away from your foundation.
  3. Grade Your Yard: Your yard should slope away from your house. This prevents water from pooling around your foundation. If needed, add soil to create a gentle slope.
  4. Install a French Drain: If you have areas where water tends to collect, consider installing a French drain. This is a trench filled with gravel and a pipe that helps redirect water away from problem areas.

importance of Maintaining Gutters and Downspouts

Regular maintenance of your gutters and downspouts is crucial. Here’s why:

  1. Prevent Water Damage: Clogged gutters can cause water to overflow and damage your roof, siding, and foundation.
  2. Avoid Mold and Mildew: Standing water in clogged gutters can lead to mold and mildew growth, which can spread to your home's interior.
  3. Protect Your Landscape: Properly functioning gutters and downspouts help prevent soil erosion and damage to your plants and lawn.
  4. Increase Longevity of Gutters: Regular cleaning and maintenance can extend the life of your gutters, saving you money in the long run.

Quick Maintenance Tips

  • Check Regularly: Inspect your gutters and downspouts at least twice a year, in the spring and fall.
  • Use Gutter Guards: Consider installing gutter guards to reduce the amount of debris that gets into your gutters.
  • Professional Help: Don’t hesitate to hire a professional for gutter cleaning if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself.

By taking these steps, you can help ensure that your home is ready for heavy rainfall and minimize the risk of water damage. Stay dry and stay safe!

Conclusion

Flash floods are dangerous and can cause a lot of damage quickly. Knowing about them and being prepared is really important to keep your home and family safe.

For more easy flood safety tips, follow Dam Easy. Our flood barrier kits can help protect your home from flooding. Don’t wait until it’s too late—get your kit today and stay safe!

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