Flood protection methods

Written by sarah arnette
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Flood protection methods
Even a small amount of flooding can be dangerous. (flood image by Gail Ranney from Fotolia.com)

Floods can be very dangerous and can endanger people, pets and livestock. Floods also cause large amounts of damage to property, including homes and cars. Many people do not have adequate flood insurance or protection. Most homeowner's insurance does not cover flooding and water damage. Many communities work to prevent flooding in the area, but this does not mean that flood protection should be ignored at the home level.

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Irrigation Canals

Irrigation canals or ditches are often built and maintained on a county or city basis. However, if a property is prone to flooding, the development of ditches and irrigation canals can help to move water off the property, effectively limiting the damage that could be done. A professional can help determine the effectiveness of the ditch and the proper location of the ditch as per local ordinances.

Basement Repairs

Water can be prevented from entering the home through the basement by inspecting and repairing any cracks or damage to the basement walls. These cracks and damages can be caused by past flooding or the freeze-thaw cycle. Filling the cracks and any holes can help to keep water outside and prevent serious damage to the home and property. This is only effective for basement and underground water flooding.


Surface flooding can cause significant damage to a home or property. This water can be quick moving and can cause the walls of a building to shift. Barriers help to keep the water from reaching the home. These can take the form of an earthen berm or a concrete wall. If a berm is used, be prepared to allow 6 feet worth of width for a single foot of vertical height. Concrete walls are used where there is not enough room for a berm. The concrete wall must be properly embedded to prevent the wall from falling under its weight or being moved by the water.

Dry Flood Proofing

Dry flood proofing makes the building watertight. This is done through the use of waterproofing wall construction, window reinforcements and door blocking methods. Sandbags can be used to assist in dry flood proofing and can be placed in front and behind a door or window to provide additional support during a flood.

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