The Types of Flood Damage that Can Affect Your Home

A typical homeowners’ insurance policy will cover a property for water damage but not flood damage, and you’re not alone if you didn’t know they’re two different things.

However, even property owners who know the difference often overlook taking out a flood insurance policy, as they believe the likelihood of experiencing flooding is minimal.

With over 100 significant flood events occurring yearly in half of the last 20 years and a substantial percentage of United States counties experiencing at least one flood in that time frame, you may want to rethink getting insured against flood damage.

According to the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program), properties in high-risk areas stand a one in four chance of experiencing a flood during a 30-year mortgage course.

A flood can cause significant damage in a short period of time. Water can quickly saturate certain building materials, causing minor to severe structural damage, among other things.

What is a flood?

A flood is an abnormal overflow of water that submerges a usually dry area. Flooding is the most frequent type of natural disaster experienced worldwide; it occurs for various reasons, including a river overflow or a tropical cyclone.

Common Causes of Flooding

Heavy Rainfall

Rainfall is the principal culprit behind most flooding cases worldwide. Excess rainfall or heavy rains can cause water to flow overland, causing a flood.

Your county or neighborhood features infrastructure to move rainwater and liquid waste into appropriate basins. In most cases, the draining system does its job except when overwhelmed by heavy rainfall, most likely causing a flood.

River Overflows

You don’t necessarily need to have excess rainfall to experience flooding. Streams or rivers, holding more upstream water than usual, can overflow their banks, causing water to flow downstream and to other low-lying areas, consequently causing a flood.

Clogged Drainages

You may also experience a flood when rainfall runoff or snowmelts aren’t channeled appropriately into drainage systems, causing water to flow overland. Flood waters could affect your home’s foundation and creep into your home, causing severe damage.

Different Types of Flood Damage That Affect Your Home

Flash Floods

These floods result from heavy rainfall over a short period, especially in a relatively small drainage area. They often occur with little or no warning and when a levee or dam breaks. Flash floods feature highly destructive waves and are rampant in mountainous regions.

Coastal Floods

These happen due to storm surges, hurricanes, or other severe weather conditions, driving seawater onto coastal areas. Heavy rainfall and high tides can also result in coastal floods.

Urban Floods

These floods often occur from heavy rain overwhelming drainage infrastructure in metropolitan areas. Urban flooding often causes significant damage to property and traffic disruptions.

Sewage Floods

As the name implies, sewage floods happen when flooding or heavy rains overwhelm sewage systems, and they can cause severe health problems if not adequately addressed.

What Are the Effects of Flood Damage on Your Property?

Structural Damage

When floods happen, the sheer force of water can impact your home’s foundation, siding, and walls, and the damage worsens the longer you leave standing water within your property.

Even flood waters that don’t rise above the ground surface can cause severe property damage; the water creates a pressure strong enough to crack the foundation, lift concrete foundations, and outdoor walkways and patios.

Electrical Damage

While pure water is a poor conductor, flood water contains electrolytes that make it an excellent conductor, making it difficult to return to your home following a flood, as your home’s electrical system may be compromised, putting you at risk of electrocution.

Perhaps you have credible reason to access your home; remember to wear protective gear and avoid touching any electrical equipment until your property is safe to access.

Mold Growth

Mold is among the most damaging consequences of flood damage. Mold and mildew grow fast, and you may notice visible mold colonies 24 to 48 hours after the water subsides and surfaces get air exposure.

If left unaddressed, the mold colonies will disperse spores, affecting indoor air quality. If your house floods, contact a reputable flood damage restoration service as soon as possible to mitigate the damage and prevent mold growth.

Damage to Furniture

Don’t hesitate to dispose of soft upholstery and furnishings if you experience flooding on your property. The contaminated water comes with the risk of mold and mildew growth in the materials it soaks.

Perhaps you’re unsure of materials to keep; your flood damage restoration company will help you differentiate salvageable items and belongings that need to go.

Practical Tips for Preparing for a Flood

If you live in a flood-prone area, below are some steps you can follow to fortify your house.

  • Install flood vents: These allow water to easily pass through building walls, preventing hydrostatic pressure buildup that can damage the foundation and walls. Flood vents perform excellently regarding structural damage prevention.
  • Elevate your appliances: If you can, position your electronics and appliances above the expected water level. This tip will save you the cost of replacing appliances after a flood.
  • Install a sump pump: A sump pump helps with water removal. Consider installing one in your home, preferably in the basement area.
  • Know your flood risk: Each region in the United States has a flood map. Contact your insurance company or the NFIP for information regarding your risk of a flood.

Why Quick Flood Damage Restoration is Essential

The sooner flood damage restoration begins, the more likely it is that structures will dry out successfully and no further damage will occur.

For swift and effective flood damage restoration services, contact us today at (843) 773-4092. We are a reputable company offering high-quality disaster and specialty services in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Our insured and certified expert team is reliable, friendly, experienced, and committed to providing quality and satisfying service whenever the need arises.