Flash floods, as the name suggests, can strike without notice and when you least expect it – most especially during the summer months in Gauteng with the region’s intense Highveld showers. Floods are known as one of the most expensive natural disasters, not only because of the immediate damage caused, but the long-term effects of water damage and mold which can take over your home if not detected in its early stages.
Simply ignoring the risk of flash flooding could have expensive and painful immediate and long term effects, which could see you having to rip up flooring, take out walls, replace expensive electronics, rewire your home’s electrical system, replace furniture and more. The trick to avoiding all of this heart ache? Prevention!
If you live in an area that may be prone to flooding, such as near a river, dam or lake in the Gauteng or Pretoria regions, here are 5 steps to safeguarding your home:
1. Keep up regular home maintenance
This sounds basic, but most of the time, it’s the basics that help to prevent disaster. Some of these simple steps include cleaning out your gutters, downspouts and drains regularly, especially after a large storm or a long few days of bad weather.
Make sure your gutters are free of leaks, the gutter brackets are still well intact and drain covers are still in good condition.
2. Protect your home’s electrical system
If you have been a victim of flash flooding before or are building a brand new home, it’s advisable to consider protecting your electrical system by raising switches, sockets, circuit breakers, and wiring at least a 30cm above estimated flood levels in your area. Not only this, it’s also wise to raise your geyser and other anchored electrical equipment above flood level when renovating your home or building from scratch.
3. Don’t forget about outdoor equipment
If you have an air-conditioning system in your home, the outdoor units must be raised to above-estimated flood level, as well as backup generators and all their adjoining electrical wiring. If the unit is protected, but the electrical supply isn’t, this could render them useless anyway!
It’s highly advisable that both of these units be anchored firmly in place to avoid the risk of losing them in times of high flood levels and water flow.
4. Update your home piping’s water valves
On all pipes entering your property, it’s advisable that water valves be updated to either interior or exterior backflow valves, after all, the last thing you want is a flooded sewerage system to add to your woes!
Gate valves are also highly recommended as you are able to operate them by hand and they provide stronger seals than flap valves, which don’t allow you to control water flow!
5. ‘Wet-proof’ your home
If you live in a region that is prone to flash flooding more often than not, ‘wet-proofing’ is another measure to be taken when safeguarding your home. Though it may be expensive, in the long run, it could save you more!
‘Wet-proofing’ involves the installation of foundation vents throughout your home, which allows water to flow through the building, rather than it rising up and causing copious amounts of damage. These vents should be installed on adjacent walls in each room.
As the saying goes, ‘prevention is always better than cure’, don’t wait until it’s too late, get in touch to keep your roof and gutters in tip-top condition!