There is no way to keep a home dry in five feet of rain. Period. There are, however, several ways homeowners can protect their homes from the increasingly strong and wet storms that have now become less the exception and more the rule.
- Make sure your sump pump is operating.
- Install a battery backup or generator for sump pumps.
- Have wide trenches or French drains dug in the basement that run into the sump pump.
- Look for early warning signs of leakage, such as dampness in the basement, a musty odor, cracks on the walls or floors and discoloration or white powder on the walls.
- Make sure all gutters are clear and running well away from the home.
- If the home has no basement, make sure land is graded well away from foundation slab.
"We try to tell homeowners, it's the water you can't see that causes the most damage," said John Bryant, general manager of AquaGuard, a waterproofing company serving six states in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic. "When your basement leaks, it doesn't decide to leak one day. There are a lot of early warning signs. All these things are telling the homeowner that basement may be retaining water and at one point it can fail and essentially burst and cause a flood."