Even if you’re not in a flood zone in Montana, your home is still vulnerable to water damage. From heavy rainfalls to natural disasters, if you aren’t regularly maintaining your home, it will be more vulnerable to flooding. The good news is, you can protect your home for little to no money.
Follow these four easy steps to help prevent costly flood damage in your home.
1. Clean your gutters.
One of the most cost effective ways to make sure your home doesn’t get water damage during heavy spring rains, melting snow, or other natural disasters is to make sure your gutters and downspouts are free and clear of any twigs, leaves, dirt, and debris.
If you are careful, you can clean your gutters yourself with a stepladder, heavy duty gloves, and a tarp. Experts suggest setting a tarp up on the ground below you where you can toss debris as you clean is safer than carrying around a bucket or bag because you always want three points of contact on your ladder.
After you have removed the debris, use a hose to rinse out the gutters and downspouts. It’s better than a blower and safer to use while on a ladder or roof.
- Start with the hose at the center of the gutter and work your way toward the downspout.
- When you hit the downspout, give it an extra burst of water. Watch to make sure water flows out the bottom, in a steady stream, away from your home.
- Even if your gutters look clean, a clogged downspout can cause big backups and flooding.
- If your downspouts are connected to an underground pipe, be sure to disconnect the downspout while you’re cleaning to avoid flushing any large debris into the underground pipe, which may cause backups that are more costly to fix.
- When everything is cleaned and flushed out, properly reconnect downspouts, and know your home is safer against large amounts of water.
2. Avoid drain cleaner chemicals.
Even though chemical cleaners unclog your drains quickly, they also are known for eroding your pipes just as fast. If you use drain chemical cleaners too often, your pipes can get to the point of puncture or bursting. Investing in a drain snake (which can cost as little as $2.50) can save you tens of thousands of dollars and a lot of heartache and stress. It will unclog your pipes just as well as chemicals, and leave your pipes intact, without threat of water damage.
3. Pipe insulation.
When you think about insulating your pipes so they don’t freeze, people tend to picture their bank accounts draining. However, simple changes, like leaving your cabinets open, placing your faucets on a constant drip, and covering your outdoor faucets and spigots with foam shields, are inexpensive ways to keep your pipes from freezing.
4. Look out for signs of a water leak.
Catching a leak at its start will help keep water damage to a minimum. Consider installing a water leak alarm for only around $25 for early detection. Keep a watchful eye on your ceilings, floors, and drywall for darker spots or stains. These spots and stains will be more apparent around pipes, broken appliances, and in your ceiling. Also listen for dripping sounds and a sudden rise in your water bill. These are all signs that there is a leak somewhere in your home. If you can locate the leak (and fix it or call in a professional) before it becomes a larger problem, you will keep water damage and flooding at bay.
Making sure your home is safe from water damage is only a part of the equation. Check your home insurance to confirm what types of damage are covered and talk to your insurance agent if you need to up your coverage or to get flood protection.
Need help from a water restoration company?
Alpha Omega is a fully certified restoration company serving Billings, MT and the surrounding areas. If you own an appliance such as a refrigerator, ice-maker, washing machine, or even a shower and toilet, you are vulnerable to water damage. Water inside the home needs to be dried quickly to prevent further problems like mold growth and rotting. Before you do any work to remove the water yourself, call Alpha Omega Disaster Restoration for a free inspection.
Our crew is on call 24/7. We’ll assess the situation, document the damage, and work with your insurance adjuster, providing you the best water restoration possible. With our help, you can focus on your family and relationships, while you let us worry about restoring your physical property to its pre-disaster state. When we’re done, all traces of the destruction will be gone, leaving you with a safe and comfortable home.