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Irregular weather patterns and more urban sprawl (and asphalt) are leading to more flood damage than ever before. FEMA recently predicted that total area in the United States at risk of flooding could increase by 45 percent by 2100. The National Resources Defense Council has documented eight recent flood events of a size expected to occur just once every 500 to 1,000 years.
And while not everyone lives in a high-risk area, everyone does live in a potential flood zone. Flood damage can lead to full-scale destruction of a home. Even relatively minor damage, like a busted pipe, can cost thousands of dollars to repair. But homeowners in Panama City Beach can mitigate some of the risks.
Homeowners can calculate their flood risk by visiting Floodsmart.gov, the website of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This federal program sets flood insurance rates using FEMA’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps, which show a community’s base flood elevations, flood zones, and floodplain boundaries.
If you’re considering buying a home, find out whether the property has ever been flooded. Some states require real-estate records to include that information. Better yet, Ask the neighborhood oldtimers whether there’s been flooding in the area.
Step One – Utilities, boilers, central air-conditioning units, and other HVAC equipment normally located at the lowest level of homes are particularly vulnerable to flood damage. Consider bringing them to higher ground, either by building platforms or by moving them to another floor.
Step Two – Replace these before they fail and flood your home from INSIDE. It is only a matter of time before the bottom rusts out on that 20-year-old water heater.
Cities that deal with persistent and costly stormwater flooding on the Florida coast have various municipal programs to fund the installation of backflow prevention valves. These devices can help keep overtaxed sewer mains from backing up into basements. If your basement floor drain backs up after heavy rains, consider installing one of these devices.
Living so close to the coast, Panama City families can tweak their gardens and yards to absorb or funnel excess rain away from the home. A 5 percent to 10 percent slope away from the home for a minimum of 10 feet will reduce foundation leakage.
Porous outdoor surfaces help water seep into the ground instead of streaming toward your home. Digging depressions known as swales to channel stormwater runoff away from your house, converting concrete or asphalt driveways to gravel or brick, and using absorbent mulch can help manage heavy rain and reduce potential flood damage.
If you have a high risk of water damage in your property, consider moving some of the electrical infrastructures to higher ground.
When you discover water damage in your home or commercial property, look for a team with the most advanced, specialized equipment to detect any source of water. Daystar Cleaning, Inc. is a certified firm of the (IICRC) and uses proper water damage restoration techniques. For 24/7 emergency service in Panama City and Bay County, please contact us.