If you live in an area prone to flooding, then you may need to evacuate your home on occasion to avoid an emergency situation. It is definitely wise to leave your residence, and a water cleanup expert can help with the potential damage afterwards. Although this is true, you should still do everything in your power to minimize damage as much as possible. You can do this by completing a few simple steps before leaving your house. This way, clean up will take less time and cost your less money.
Plug Basement Drains
If you have a drainage tile system in your basement or foundation that allows water to drain out through your basement floor, then you should plug this drain before you evacuate your home. These types of systems often connect to the sewer lines that run down your street. This means that sewage can flow back through the drain line if flood waters cause a backup.
The sewage can easily fill your basement and special precautions will need to be taken when cleanup services are provided. This is necessary to reduce exposure to harmful viruses, parasites, and bacteria that can transmit salmonella, hepatitis A, hookworm infections, and other illnesses. The precautions and special clean up can greatly increase costs.
Use Secure Plugs
To plug the drain, purchase a special pressure resistant rubber stopper that expands when fluids back up through the pipe. These plugs are specifically made for basement drains and other open pipes that need to be stopped. If you cannot find one of these plugs, then purchase a tennis ball or rubber ball to stick in the pipe. Locate one that is slightly larger than the diameter of the drain. Once you wedge the ball in place, set a cinder block or several bricks on top to secure the stopper.
Brace Fuel Tanks
If you have an oil or propane tank that sits outside your home, then aggressive flood waters can carry the tank away. Fuel tanks can also be knocked over and this can force fuel to spill into your home. When this happens, your clean up professional will need to wear oil resistant clothing and an organic vapor respirator with a charcoal filter.
Also, precautions are needed to make sure that fuels do not ignite during the cleaning. Oil absorbent pads will be needed when water is removed from your home. Even after the lengthy clean up is completed, all porous materials in the flood area will need to be removed. Petroleum fuels cannot be removed from drywall, carpeting, and wood flooring materials. This can all be avoided with the proper bracing of fuel tanks.
Applying Proper Anchoring Methods
Fuel tanks can be anchored in a variety of ways. The most secure method involves the placement of a concrete slab underneath the tank. Galvanized steel bolts and other attachments are then used to secure the tank to the slab so it cannot be moved. It can take a great deal of time to secure your tank in this manner though. If you need to evacuate your home more quickly, then consider purchasing a fuel tank anchoring system.
Fuel tank anchoring systems include stainless steel braces that set over the top of the tank. These braces then connect to spikes or rods that secure several feet into the earth. These anchoring systems may be found at your local home store. You can also ask your home heating oil or propane supplier to provide you with anchors that fit your specific fuel tank. If the supplier owns the tank, then they may provide anchoring services for you as well.
If you live in an area that sometimes floods in the spring or summer, then you might leave your house occasionally for safety reasons. Flood waters may then get into your home while you are away. Clean up crews can help you if this happens, but you should still try to stop more serious types of damage from occurring.