Are you ready for an El Nino spring?

Posted by Matt Buchanan

Well it’s almost mid-March, and depending on where you live, you can breathe a sigh of relief that winter came and went without much fuss. While this time last year was one of the busiest winters on record with Canada’s gift, the polar vortex hammering much of the US with record low temperatures, this winter was relatively mild. That’s the good news, as we saw a lot less basement floods from frozen pipes in the midwest and northeast. But…and there’s always a ‘but’, isn’t there? Unfortunately El Nino’s tempering effect for winter will transform into a wet effect this spring in much of the country. What does that mean for you? Let’s talk about some simple things you can do over the next couple of weeks to ensure you’re not in need of our emergency water cleanup services this spring!


El Nino Spring Flood Prevention Tips


el-nino-flooding-prevention-tipsIn many instances, we see homes flood due to a massive storm that causes flash flooding very quickly but then the rains die down. El Nino can certainly cause these types of micro-storms over populated areas, but the greater threat is sustained rains over the course of weeks or even months that cause the water table in your area to rise. In these instances, especially if you have a basement, hydrostatic pressure becomes a threat to cause basement flooding. So as winter subsides and gives way to spring, here are some things you should consider doing to protect your home from expensive water damage.


Clear debris from around your home

Water will travel the path of least resistance. And believe it or not, if you have debris built up around your home, that path may be into your concrete foundation or through your basement walls. If you have debris blocking water’s path away from your home, you’re just putting additional pressure on your home and asking it to fight an already tough battle (keeping water out of the home) with one hand tied behind its back.


Make sure water can travel towards the street

water-home-foundationWhen we provide this advice it always seems so simple, but then we get a basement flooding emergency call and upon pulling up can immediately spot the problem: the lawn isn’t sloped properly. Sloping a lawn away from the foundation is an absolute must, even if your home sits on a slab. If water is allowed to pool next to your foundation, it will find its way into your home. Whether that means soaking your slab or flooding your crawlspace or basement, it’s a huge problem. Take one Saturday afternoon and re-grade your lawn if it’s sloping towards your house. If you do, you’ve already fought half the battle!


Look up! How are those gutters?

Believe it or not, this one tripped up Yours Truly. Despite seeing firsthand what happens to a home if the gutters aren’t working, my basement flooded due to gutter problems. Not good! So if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone…but it doesn’t need to! Check your gutters and make sure they are working. If you don’t, your home’s second line of defense (behind your actual roof) can’t do its job. And when your gutters fail during a period of sustained rains, you’re probably in for a nasty surprise!


Sump pump, sump pump, sump pump!

flooded-basement-sump-pumpNo, you shouldn’t need 3 sump pumps, but some house do require 2. In any event, if you have a basement, you really should consider installing a sump pump in your basement, especially if it’s finished. And not only should you have one installed, you should consider a backup power source such as a generator. In the case of extreme flooding from El Nino, electricity may go out. If you’re just relying on a backup battery system, that can give way in a matter of a couple of hours. A generator gives you a much better chance of getting through the storm without major flooding!  When it comes to protecting either your basement or crawl space, a sump pump can be one of the best investments you can make.


If you get home flooding, please call us!


Free flood cleanup cost estimateWell if you’ve stumbled onto this blog post while experience a home flood, it’s obviously too late to implement these solutions. But it’s not too late to make sure you hire a certified, insured & reputable water damage company that will offer you a fair price and treat you right. We would be happy to come to your home and provide you with a free onsite estimate for any flood restoration services you may require!


About Matt Buchanan

I grew up in Irving, TX and left for Nashville, TN for college. After college I lived in Washington, DC and then in Cairo, Egypt. After coming back to the states, I spent a couple of years back in Dallas before moving with my wife to Denver!
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