Protect Your Home from Flooding - Trinidad and Tobago Mortgage Finance Company Ltd.

September 3, 2018

Julia and Clyde Holmes are very fond of their home and make sure to take good care of it. This includes planning ahead to anticipate seasonal weather patterns and ensure their house is prepared for the rainy season. The Holmes family has compiled some guidelines that you too can put in place to minimise flooding and potential flood damage.

1. Home Changes

Certain modifications to your home can help reduce damage in the event your home is impacted by flood. For instance, you may consider raising all electrical sockets, outlets, switches and circuit breakers to at least 1.5 metres above ground floor level. Another helpful option is to fit non-return valves to drains and water pipes as they only allow water flow in one direction. If you’re unsure about any electrical or plumbing modifications, it may be best to consult a professional. In addition, living habits, such as not placing electronic items on the floor can also be a helpful practice to adopt.

2. Research Insurance Options

Assess whether you live in a flood-prone area and start doing your research regarding flood insurance. Ask the insurance company about the likely flood level (the height at which flood water may rise during flood conditions). In an ideal situation, your house should be built above flood level to provide you with a degree of protection from flood damage. The location of the property impacts where the flood level will likely be, as a house located in a valley would have a different flood level than one situated on a hill. Take the time to also observe where the rainwater goes during periods of high rainfall to help gain an understanding of where may be prone to flooding, such as any areas, doors or windows that water pools around. This knowledge can help you get more in tune with where may be more at risk and also assist you in pointing out areas that you may be able to modify or better prepare for high rainfall. Also remember to ask your insurer if you need to purchase separate flood insurance, or whether you are already covered.

3. Lawn and drainage management

Observe the direction and slant of your yard and lawn as this influences how your home is affected by flood. For instance, if your lawn tilts in the direction of your house this will likely result in water pooling around your home in times of great rainfall. Be sure to also assess the drainage elements of your property. This includes checking that your gutter runoff points away from your house in a fitting direction so that water does not pool and collect at the base of your home.

The Holmes family encourages you to take a look at the above and actively prepare for flooding conditions to the best of your ability.