How To Prevent Rain, Flooding, & Mudslide Damage To Your Home – Avoid Costly Water Damage Restoration and Mold Removal Costs
Mudslides and flooding our common occurrences after wildfires and costs associated with water damage cleanup, water restoration services, and mold removal can be costly.
After wildfires, rain water sheets down hillside slopes that have been burned by wildfires where burned trees, shrubs and landscaping used to exist. Heavy rains after a wildfire cause soil erosion, which allows rain water to form a path in the soil, similar to that of a stream or river, as it quickly cascades downhill.
The lack of ground cover and shrubbery on hillsides, combined with heavy rains, can cause mudslides. Unfortunately, mudslides and flooding caused by heavy rains are generally NOT covered under a Homeowners Insurance Policy. Any ground water that seeps inside to the interior of the home from outside is excluded. However, Flood Insurance Policies do provide coverage for this and are designed to cover ground water seepage, flooding and mud that enters a home.
Some Homeowner Insurance Policies may offer a Drain Backup Endorsement that provides coverage if an underground drain becomes clogged with leaves or debris which causes rainwater to pool and enter from the exterior to the home’s interior.
There are, however, precautions that can be taken to avoid situations like this from occurring:
– If your roof does not have rain gutters or downspouts, heavy rain water can sheet down your roof slopes and inundate the soil at the base of your home’s foundation. This may cause puddles or pools of water to form that eventually seeps through the base of the exterior walls into your home.
– Installation of rain gutters, downspouts and an underground drainage system are recommended in order to help route water away from your home’s foundation.
– Seal cracks and gaps at the base of your fireplace’s chimney where it ties into the exterior wall as well as the roof to prevent water from entering and pooling around the base of the fireplace.
– Make sure that your patio deck is not higher than the stucco weep screed at the base of the exterior walls if your home’s exterior walls are stucco as this can cause rain water to go down the wall and inside your home.
– Check to make sure that any landscaped areas of your yard that have even a slight slope are designed to route water away from your home and not towards it.
– An underground drainage system or regrading the soil in these areas may help prevent water from entering your home. This is especially important If you have a hillside slope with a pony wall in your backyard or if your home is located at the base of a hill or mountain.
– Stacking sandbags to help prevent water from pooling or entering your home can be a temporary solution until permanent measures can be put in place. Local fire department stations often provide the sand bags or hay bails needed for residents.