While Southeast Texas may not be worried about flash flooding from rain, because, let's face it, we're not getting much rain period, flooding can still occur in homes, causing significant damage and sanitation issues. Aside from potential flood damage caused by hurricanes, flood damage can be caused by broken pipes, faulty appliances, and accidents inside your home.
Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to help prevent flood damage inside your Houston home:
- Give water proper drainage. From your shower drain to your rain gutters to your neighborhood sewer system, if water doesn't have a place to drain, it's going to lead to floods. Keep indoor sink and shower drains clean, install Gutter Guard over your rain gutters to prevent clogs (or have a professional clean your gutters 2-4 times per year), and dispose of tree branches, leaves, and other organic debris so that they don't clog up sewer drains on your street.
- Get your A/C serviced every year. A leaky air conditioner can lead to costly ceiling, wall, and even paint repairs. Don't wait until there's a problem; have a professional check your air conditioner every year to prevent floods.
- Winterize your pipes. Like an A/C leak, a burst pipe in Winter can lead to more than just pipe repair. To avoid potentially thousands of dollars in damage remediation, install pipe insulation around all pipes, and just bite the bullet and turn the heater on. We all want to save money on our gas bills, but risking costly burst pipes isn't worth not turning the heater on period. Even a low setting like 60 degrees is enough to prevent frozen pipes, even when the temps get really cold.
- Check for leaks. Make sure toilets, sink faucets, dishwashers and other appliances, and even outdoor sprinkler systems aren't leaky. Beyond saving you money on your water bill, making these repairs can help prevent indoor floods.
- Prepare for storms. If the weatherman tells you a storm is on the way, start preparing. If you have a multi-story house, move valuables to a higher level. Unplug appliances to prevent electrical problems, roll up rugs for storage, and store items in airtight containers off the ground if possible. Do a little Spring cleaning on a regular basis; it'll make storm preparation a lot simpler.