How to Protect Your Home During Hurricane Season
Hurricane season is upon us! Is your home ready? It’s hard to think about stormy weather when we’re just starting to kick back and enjoy sunny summer days, but it’s crucial to be proactive so that your home isn’t hard hit when a hurricane hits. Hurricane season started on June 1st, and it runs through November. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the past few years have seen unusually active hurricane seasons, and this year is predicted to be no different. NOAA estimates with 70 percent certainty a probable range of 14 to 21 named storms with winds of 39 mph or higher, 6 to 10 of which could turn into hurricanes, with winds of 74 mph or higher, including 3 to 6 major, category 3, 4, or 5 hurricanes. As we’ve seen from storms like Hurricane Ida in 2021, these storms can bring with them high winds and flash flooding, as well as an increased risk of tornadoes. There’s no way to stop a hurricane from hitting your house, even if you live inland, but there are some things you can do to make sure your home stays safe and dry even during a storm. Waterproofing your basement is a key part of this process.
- First, make sure you’ve got a sound foundation. One thing you absolutely need when a hurricane hits is a solid foundation. Give yours a thorough inspection before a storm approaches, so you’re not caught off guard. Make sure there are no cracks, leaks, or signs of water intrusion, like mold. If you notice any damage to your foundation, get it repaired as quickly as possible.
- Rethink your basement carpet. Sure, carpet feels good under the feet, but only until the basement floods. Then it’s a stinky, soggy mess that’s hard to clean and likely to invite mold and mildew into your basement. It’s a good plan to switch to an easier to maintain floor covering before a flood happens and you have to deal with the ensuing cleanup.
- Look at your home’s exterior with a critical eye. Are your gutters and downspouts directing water far enough away from your home to prevent foundation damage and basement flooding in a storm? Do the gutters need cleaning? Does the land around your home slope towards or away from your foundation? Address these issues before they cause a problem and direct floodwater into your basement. While you’re at it, trim any tree limbs and bushes that could break and become hazardous during a storm, and remove any loose items like wood or rocks that could become airborne.
- Consider a French drainage system. An interior French drainage system can be installed inside the home, around the perimeter of the basement, to direct water to a sump pump pit. Outside, the same type of drainage system, which uses subsurface pipes to redirect water, can help send floodwaters far away from your foundation and the inside of your house.
- Check your basement’s floor drains. If you’ve got floor drains in your basement, they can easily back up in flood conditions, when excess water is dumped around your home’s exterior and overwhelms the drains. It’s smart to inspect them ahead of time to make sure everything is in good working order and the water will flow in the appropriate direction if a flood hits.
- Test your sump pump before you need it. It can be your lifeline during heavy rains, but the worst time to discover that your sump pump isn’t working properly is in the middle of a hurricane. If you don’t have a sump pump, consider installing one. If you do have one, put it through a test run before a hurricane approaches, making sure that it will work when you need it. If your sump pump is not backed up by a battery, consider adding a backup sump pump that won’t stop working when the power goes out.
- If you don’t have a basement, attend to the crawl space. Crawl spaces don’t provide the same living area as a basement, but they can be just as susceptible to flooding and create just as large of a headache if they sustain damage. Encapsulating your crawl space will help keep it dry and protect your home’s foundation.
- Be aware of the dangers of flooding. Flooding causes more than just an inconvenient amount of water in a house. Homes that have flooded can have compromised electrical and heating systems, and even structural damage. Leaving the repairs for later can create unsafe conditions, with wood rot, metal rust, foundation cracks, and mold and mildew. These issues can get worse if left unrepaired, and can even cause health issues like allergic reactions, asthma, and lung infections. The best course of action is to do everything you can to keep floodwaters out of your home, but if you do experience storm damage, have it repaired immediately to keep it from becoming a larger and more expensive problem.
If you need assistance prepping your basement and foundation to withstand hurricane season, Budget Waterproofing can help. In addition to waterproofing, mold remediation, mold cleaning, and crawl space encapsulation, we provide foundation repair, going beyond patching cracks to find the source of the problem. At Budget Waterproofing, we’ve got more than 55 years of experience servicing both commercial and residential customers throughout Maryland. We’re proud of our craftsmanship and confident in our skills, and all our technicians are fully licensed and insured. We also hold an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau of Maryland and serve as a member of the Maryland Multi-Housing Association. Whether you need foundation repair, basement waterproofing, a drainage system, crawl space waterproofing, or egress window installation, we’ve got you covered, with the experience and skills necessary to improve your basement and protect your family. For more information, call 410-690-4970.