Safeguarding The Home Against The Rising Risk Of Water Damage



Water damage and flooding are a nightmare situation for most homeowners, and the risk to American property is on the increase. A Reuters analysis found that the cost of flood damage to US homes would increase 61% over the next 30 years as the country tussles with the impact of climate change and the increasing flood plains associated with that. There has therefore never been a more important point at which homeowners need to adapt. Being able to tackle the rising threat will first require a clear understanding of the risks and associated costs.

Rectifying the damage

There are obviously different levels to water damage and the repairs it necessitates, but a look at average costs is instructive on what to expect. As CNBC reports, the average cost that homeowners were forced to shell out on water-related repairs in 2022 was $3,342. That’s compared to the average unexpected repair cost, at $1,953. The process of repairing water damage has several stages. It’s often insufficient to simply dry the room out, though that is important. A full structural survey is often necessary, to look to see how water has penetrated through the property. There are associated risks with mold due to how it flourishes in damp and cold environments, and proper cleaning to remove any potential fungal growth is also essential. Furthermore, water damage can penetrate and cause dampness far beyond what’s visible and to a greater extent than is measurable by survey. Long-term drying can be necessary, through dehumidifiers and the like.

Short-term solutions

In the medium term, there are steps that homeowners can take to protect their home from floodwater. Business Insider magazine highlights a few of the most cost-effective. The most effective changes can be made to the exterior of the property. Look primarily at water runoffs and how those are managed. Good quality guttering, runoff and drainage will ensure that you can move water away from the property, and building a rain tank can help to build an important contingency and prevent groundwater gathering. You can also plan for emergency situations by elevating your service utilities, such as electrical outlets, to 1 foot above your flood elevation in the local area. 

Long term change

The only way to really provide thorough protection against flooding damage is to be part of a wider system designed to help water runoff. The reason that flooding can become so damaging in urban areas is due to a reduced capacity in floodwater management, and the reduction of green spaces. Reversing this trend is the key to long-term floodwater resilience. The environment in which properties are built and managed are key to staying safe with increasing rain levels.

When purchasing a property, either to manage or sell on or to live in yourself, considering these principles can be crucial. Flood damage is costly, both in terms of the money required to rectify it and the investment of time that total change demands. Being aware of that, and proactively challenging it, is important.

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