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A flood is defined as an overflow of water that submerges land that is usually dry. It is one of the most common natural disasters that occurs throughout the world, and especially in countries that experience a rainy season, such as the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Jamaica.
Living in a flood-prone area? Today we have brought you 5 simple steps that you can take to help flood-proof your home.
1. Fortify all entrances to your home with sandbags – Sandbags may seem like a medieval solution to flooding, but they are quite useful in keeping water or any form of liquid out of your home. Sandbags can be purchased or made using sand and plastic or woolen bags.
Sandbags work in two ways. The first is by diverting the flow of water away from an entrance, instead causing the flood to flow elsewhere. The second is by absorbing water that would have otherwise flowed in your home.
2. Apply sealants – Sealants are special protective coatings that are made from plastic or resin materials that can help to prevent flood water from entering your home. Sealants work by covering any cracks or openings in areas of your home, such as in your foundation, walls, windows or driveways.
Sealants can be purchased at any hardware and are a great way to give your home extra protection during the rainy season when floods are more likely.
3. Clean all drains around your home – Drains can easily become clogged by debris overtime, such as grass, leaves and dirt. A clogged drain is less efficient in managing the flow of water and can easily overflow, resulting in flooding in or around your home.
Conduct a routine check of all drains around your home and remove any obstructions that may slow or restrict the flow of water, such as stones, mud or leaves. Pay careful attention to any drains that may have areas of stagnant water as the water flow may be compromised there.
4. Reposition gutters away from home – Gutters and downspouts that are not positioned away from your home may lead to pooling of water around your home. During periods of heavy rainfall, this pooling can go from pooling to actual flooding as the water has no way to flow.
Gutters and downspouts work best when paired with a good drainage system. Ensure that there are drains located near to your gutters to help guide water away from your home.
5. Landscaping – Simple landscaping can drastically stop flooding around your home if you do it in a way to divert the flow of water away from your home. This is particularly useful if your home is located on a flat surface of land and pooling of water happens easily.
Two ways you can use landscaping to flood-proof your home are:
Planting a rain garden – A rain garden is a garden planted with the express purpose of accumulating rain water to prevent flooding. It consists of soil with high water tolerance and plants that have deep roots. The rain garden works by having water redirected away from your home and into the garden so instead of pooling around your home, the water is instead absorbed by the soil in the garden. For e.g., your gutters and downspouts can be redirected so the water flows directly into your rain garden through drains or pipes.
Natural barriers – You can stop or slow the flow of flood water into your home’s vicinity using natural barriers, such as lawns and shrubbery. If your home is lower than the surrounding land, you can have your laws graded to have water run away from your home instead of towards if your home.
Interested in HomeGuard Insurance? Contact Guardian General Jamaica today at 876-926-3720 for more information.
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