The devastation of Hurricane Harvey and the tragedy that many families are being forced to deal with is also causing other homeowners to question the safety in their own homes.

In the face of a natural disaster such as a hurricane time isn’t on your side, but in Arizona, although, the monsoon season is nearing an end, flooding could still be a part of a homeowners reality and there are preparations you can take in advance to prevent moisture and flooding.

  1. Install gutters at the roof line with downspouts directed away from the building and keep them clean:

Spend some time removing leaves and debris from your gutters or hire a professional to ensure that water is transported away from your home properly.

  1. Elevate:

Elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home if you live in an area that has a high flood risk.

  1. Install French Drains:

A French drain is a trench filled with gravel or rock, containing a pipe that directs water away from your home. If feasible, always construct barriers to stop floodwater from entering the building.

  1. Stop Sewer Backup:

Install “check valves” to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home.

  1. Fix cracks and leaks immediately:

If you notice leaks or cracks in your home that are allowing water to enter or seep in, fix them as soon as possible.

  1. Slope and grade:

Slope the soil adjacent to the building away from the foundation. Termite inspectors often report “negative grade” conditions around the structure which is basically an improper slope of the soil toward the structure.

Problems with site grading and drainage often begin right after construction. The final grade of the property is established by the builder and should include slope away from the structure as well as some provision for on-site retention of a portion of the rainwater that falls onto the property.

The site drainage design is very often ruined by landscaping projects that make the property look better but perform worse in a storm.

  1. Distance gardens and pools from your house:

If you think your pool will overflow, be sure to put away any toys and furniture that you think may be damaged by the excess water.

When gardens flood, plants often suffer. If your gardens flood during storms, try planting in raised beds to combat the excess water. These beds offer more drainage and warm up faster after a storm, which will keep your plants from becoming waterlogged.

  1. Waterproof entryways:

Make sure that your doors, windows and entryway flooring are adequately waterproofed and can withstand a good amount of moisture. However, waterproofing these areas once will not get the job done for future monsoon seasons.

Weather strips on doors and windows should be replaced regularly, as they can tear and bend over time, which lets our precious air-conditioned air out and rain water in. Good waterproofing on the outside of your home will keep the inside of your home safe and dry.

If you are looking for ways to protect your indoor flooring from water, try sealing your floors. Many sealers will help make your flooring water-resistant. While this is not the same as waterproofing, sealers provide one extra layer of protection from the rainwater, dirt and other debris that might make its way into your home.

  1. Have an inspection done on your home:

Knowing the most vulnerable areas of your house is extremely important in preparing it for flood damage.  Hiring a professional to identify how areas of your home will perform under flood conditions is crucial when preparing for a flood.

  1. Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.

Even if you feel you live in a community with a low risk of flooding, remember that anywhere it rains, it can flood. Just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past, doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. Do not let monsoon season sneak up on you this year. Make sure to look out for flood advisories and monsoon warnings and stay safe during the storms.