In many parts of Indiana, homes are far enough from bodies of water that homeowners don’t worry about flooding. However, according to FloodSmart.gov, the website for the National Flood Insurance Program, everyone lives in a flood zone, and people who live outside known high-risk flood zones account for more than 20 percent of flood insurance claims.
Homes with basements and crawlspaces may flood when the surrounding earth is highly saturated. A sump pump can prevent flooding by drawing excess moisture from the soil and shedding it safely away from your home’s foundation, through a discharge pipe. These systems work continuously, protecting foundations from moisture year-round. The cost of the pump and professional installation may be in the neighborhood of $1,000 – less than the deductible for some flood insurance policies, and less than the cost of repairing flood-damaged floors, walls and electrical systems.
Flood prevention measures
A sump pump is the last line of defense against flooding. Preventing moisture from accumulating near the foundation is the best way to keep water from getting inside. Improve drainage around your home when you:
- Clean gutters and install leaf guards to keep out debris
- Ensure the elbows and downspouts are firmly secured, and no seams are leaking
- Choose a downspout extension that empties water far from your foundation
- Check the slope of the land closest to your foundation; it should slope gradually away from your house by about 6 inches for each 10 linear feet
- Replace cracked or broken concrete near the house – a concrete patio that’s cracked or sloping toward the house could be sending lots of excess water into the soil
- In flower beds near your foundation, create a path for excess water to naturally flow away from the house
- Lightly water the ground to keep it from drying out – when dirt becomes parched, it contracts, and a heavy downpour can cause dry earth to rapidly expand and push against your foundation
Controlling everyday moisture
A dehumidifier helps control basement humidity, as does proper venting of the clothes dryer. Vented glass block windows keep basements secure while allowing homeowners to let some fresh air in, as needed.
Moisture is one of the single biggest threats to a home, because it often causes rot, mildew and mold – problems that may occur inside walls and be undetectable until damage is significant. Keep moisture out by improving drainage outside and installing a sump pump.