As a homeowner, you never want to face a disaster. Still, things happen. That’s why it is important to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. A little bit of preparation today could make a big difference in the future should you face a flood, a fire, or another emergency situation that could cause significant property damage.
1. Know the Risks for Your Area
Knowing the risks of your area is important. Here in Tampa, we have a risk for hurricanes, flooding, and lightning. Some homeowners should also know their individual flood risks. FEMA uses Flood Maps to identify flood zones that show property owners their flood risk. Simply search FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center for your property.
2. Purchase Flood Insurance
Unfortunately, most home insurance policies do not cover flooding – especially if your property is located in a flood zone. While home insurance policies generally will cover water damage restoration in Tampa residents need if their bathtub overflows, sadly, the policy will not cover flooding from a natural disaster.
3. Have an Annual Inspection
It’s easy to take things we live with every day for granted, such as our plumbing and electrical systems. However, like most things, they require regular inspections and maintenance. Go ahead and add an annual inspection date to your calendar to inspect these critical systems for potential problems. It is better to fix the potential problem before something worse occurs.
4. Check Your Smoke Detectors
Regrettably, as a fire restoration in Tampa company, we’ve seen our fair share of property fires that could have been less damaging if the smoke detectors were working properly. If the smoke detector is working, you may have enough time to locate your fire extinguisher and put out the flames yourself. More importantly, a working smoke detector will alert you so that you can safely escape danger.
5. Keep a Working Fire Extinguisher
Considering the above tip, it is also important to keep at least one working fire extinguisher in your home – and you should know how to use it. Many fire extinguishers do not have expiration dates on them, but you should plan to get a new fire extinguisher every five to ten years.
6. Remove Outdoor Debris & Trim Trees
You’d be surprised by the number of homes we’ve restored that have been damaged by outdoor debris or broken trees and limbs. Quite often, tree limbs fall on roofs, which causes water damage to the interior of the home when it rains. This is why it is so important to make sure you stay diligent and trim your trees annually, as well as any time it appears a tree is dying, or branches are at risk of falling.
7. Locate Critical Valves
In the event of an emergency, you may need to turn off your electricity, gas, or water. Therefore, it is important to know where these critical valves are located in your home and how to operate them.
8. Protect Your Home’s HVAC Unit
If your home’s HVAC unit is at risk of flooding, you should take steps now to protect it. For example, some homeowners choose to move the HVAC unit to the second floor. Other homeowners build a higher concrete base for their units or even build a flood wall to protect it from water damage.
9. Use Water-Resistant Building Materials
Over the years, we have come to discover that many water damage repair in Tampa residents deal with are the result of poor workmanship or failed materials. That’s why we make a point to document the causes and origins of the water damage for our clients. One way to avoid these types of situations is to use water-resistant building materials whenever possible.
10. Install Check Valves for Plumbing
A flood is bad enough; you don’t want to have to deal with flood damage that also involves sewage cleanup. When you install plumbing check valves, you are protecting your home from sewer water. There are different types of check valves for plumbing, so it is wise to hire a licensed plumber to ensure the right valves are used and installed correctly.
11. Invest in a Lightning Rod
Since Tampa is also known as “Lightning Alley,” it is wise for homeowners to take the threat of lighting seriously. In addition to trimming trees regularly to protect from lightning damage, you should also install a lightning rod or a lightning protection system.
12. Identify Your Home’s Weaknesses & Begin Repairs
Finally, it is important to identify your home’s weaknesses and begin repairs as soon as possible. For example, rather than ignoring the cracks, caulk and fill them. Or, if you think you have a leak or mold, contact Dririte, the water intrusion specialists Tampa homeowners trust, to find the source of the leak and repair it. A disaster will likely worsen already existing damage and cause major consequences.