How to Prevent a Flood: A Guide for Homeowners


Between 2006 and 2015, claims for flood insurance reached an average of 1.9 billion each year, according to research from The Pew Charitable Trusts. Floods continue to be the most common natural disaster throughout the US, with thousands of homeowners suffering damages annually.

But while storm surges and heavy rain can be worrying, it’s worth noting that there are a few simple things you can do to protect your home from these disasters. If you’re wondering how to prevent a flood from damaging your property, here’s a simple guide to follow.

Basic Preparation for a Flood

Before we get any further into tips for preventing a flood, it’s important to take a few steps to prepare your property.

Flood Insurance

If your home is located in a floodplain, the most important thing you can do to prepare is to buy flood insurance coverage. It’s worth noting that regardless of where you live, most homeowners’ insurance policies don’t cover a flooded house, so you’ll need to purchase a separate policy. Check out to learn more about this additional coverage.

Emergency Preparation

If you live in an area at risk of flooding, make sure you’ve put together a grab-and-go kit for your family in case you need to leave in a hurry. You should also have emergency supplies on hand in case you need to shelter in place. In addition, be aware of your state’s evacuation policies, and know where you’ll head if the worst should happen.

How to Prevent a Flood

Once you’ve carried out the basic preparation tips above, there are a few additional flood prevention tips that can help you keep the floodwaters from rushing in. Here are a few long-term efforts you should make in advance:

  • Seal cracks in your foundation with mortar or masonry caulk
  • Apply sealants to your windows, walls, and doorways
  • Purchase a battery-powered sump pump, which helps prevent basement flooding by pumping water outside
  • Install a home security system with an add-on flood sensor, which can detect small leaks before they can cause serious harm
  • Improve the grading around your home so that it slopes away from your property
  • Install flood skirts and barriers, and buy sandbags to keep them on hand
  • Have a plumber inspect your sewer or septic tank, and ask them to install gate valves to keep water out

In addition, you should also be prepared to carry out a few flood prevention measures once you know a storm is on the way. These tips can help you keep the worst of the water at bay:

  • Clear your drains, ditches, downspouts, and gutters so water can run freely
  • Place sandbags around any areas prone to flooding
  • Test your sump pump and grab a battery backup
  • Raise precious belongings and important documents off the ground
  • Move major appliances onto concrete blocks, if possible

Continue monitoring your home and property throughout the storm or flood event, making sure you do whatever you can to keep water from rushing in.

Keep the Waters From Rising

Now that you understand how to prevent a flood from damaging your home, it’s important to follow through with the tips above as soon as possible. Though these natural disasters can be frightening, investing time and effort in these simple strategies can help you protect your property from the worst of the damage.

For more of the essential tips you need in life, check out our other helpful guides.


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