According to the National Resources Defense Council, climate change has contributed to a rise in extreme weather events and heavier rainfalls across the country that could potentially lead to substantial flooding. But it doesn’t take much. Even a few inches of floodwater can result in thousands of dollars in home damage, and hurricanes. Heavy rainfall and flooding may lead to mold formation that can be extremely difficult, and costly to remove.

Flooding is the most common natural disaster and can occur anywhere. When a storm takes place, the chances that your home will experience some type of flood damage significantly increases. In the winter months, when stormy weather is not an uncommon occurrence (particularly for those of us on the East Coast!), it’s especially important to ensure that your home is prepared for a storm and the subsequent flooding. Spring is just around the corner, but until then, make sure not to slack off on your storm protection measures.

1. Clear Your Gutters

Cleaning out your gutters may seem like an tedious task, but it is essential to safeguard your home against heavy rainfall and flooding. Clear out any leaves and twigs that may have accumulated over the winter months. Ideally, you’ll want to clean your gutters at least twice a year. If you find holes or cracks in your gutters, downspouts and downspout extensions, seal these with silicone caulk.

You might think your gutters and drainpipes work perfectly, at least until a hailstorm arrives. Excessive hail can clog gutters and drainpipes, particularly if these systems are already filled with debris. Clearing out gutters and drainpipes will minimize this threat.

2. Perform Weather Sealing

Windows are one of the most common sources of leaks in our homes. Identify sealant gaps in the space around your home’s windows and doors. When it comes to heavy rainfall and flooding, you’ll want to do everything possible to minimize sealant gaps to prevent water or other debris from entering your space.

Use an insulating foam sealant to seal gaps or cracks in the space surrounding your home’s windows. When this sealant is applied, it will fill the open spaces around a window to form a durable, airtight and water-resistant seal.

3. Install Storm Windows

Storm windows offer increased protection against heavy rainfall. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, these windows are also likely to return your investment in improved property value and ease of use. Many storm windows are excellent in delivering long-lasting protection against heavy rainfall and flooding and often feature comprehensive warranties, including lifetime guarantees.

4. Grade Your Land

It is quite helpful to grade the land around your home. By adding dirt and grading the land around your home, you can ensure heavy rainfall and flooding slopes away from the foundation. This also represents the number one way to prevent wet basements and crawl spaces from forming.

No matter how many protective measures you put up, there’s always a chance that that one powerful storm could put them all to shame. As a second line of defense against costly property damage, make sure to have a comprehensive and up-to-date Homeowners Insurance policy that will cover all of your assets and be able to restore your home should the worst happen. In the case of winter flooding, it’s also important to have a separate Flood Insurance policy, as many common homeowners policies will not cover flood damage. Not sure if your current policy has the coverage that you need? Call an agent today to make sure! It’s always better to take care of these things now, before the storm has hit.

About Thayer Innes and Freeman Bunting Insurance Agencies

At Thayer-Innes Insurance Agency and Freeman Bunting Insurance Agency, we strive to provide comprehensive insurance solutions to support Ann Arbor homeowners. Our homeowners’ policies can be tailored to meet your specific risk exposures and provides much more coverage than a traditional policy, giving you the peace of mind you deserve. For more information about our products, contact us today at (855) 395-6316.