10 Spring Flooding Safety Tips to Protect Your Home

Author: Diana Rodriguez-Zaba
Last Updated on

You have every reason to be worried about your home. We’ve seen a dramatic increase in spring flooding especially across northern and western Illinois. This season may go on record as the worst in 50 years. It’s important to know how to implement smart spring flooding tips that can protect your property, whether you live in Chicago or any other flood prone area.

Spring Flood Facts

Nature goes into overdrive this time of year with conditions that create serious flood risks throughout the Midwest.

• Spring snowfalls and melts are common especially here in Chicago.
• Seasonal temperature changes result in heavy rain storms and tornadoes.
• Saturated ground and swollen rivers contribute to area flood risks.
• Gusty winds drive severe weather across the region with devastating effects.

Everyone faces these dangers each year, so it’s important to plan ahead. You also need to know how to quickly respond and take important safety measures during floods.

10 Spring Flooding Tips to Protect Your Home

With advanced planning, you can lower the risk of spring flood waters damaging your home. Put these 10 safety tips to work as a checklist you can reference every year.

1. Identify Potential Problems

The next time it rains, grab an umbrella, and walk around the house. Track water flow close to the foundation and across the yard. A quick tour identifies drainage problems that can turn a downpour into a home flooding disaster.

2. Grade the Landscape

Eliminate low spots in the yard by grading surrounding areas. Retaining walls and swales can also correct ponding problems and direct storm runoff away from the house.

3. Put in a Drainage System

french drain
Consider adding a french drain to protect your home from spring flooding.

French drains are practical, long-lasting solutions to yard drainage problems. Digging a trench and drain system isn’t an easy job, but it’s a home improvement project that increases your home’s flood protection. 

4. Inspect Gutters and Downspouts

The drainage system around your roof handles enormous volumes of water during spring storms. Inspect gutters and downspouts for signs of clogs. Look for small cracks or buckles that can bring the system down during a deluge. Make sure downspouts direct water flow away from your home’s foundation.

5. Take Care of the Sump Pump

submersible pump prevent flooding
Sump pumps are critical in preventing flooded basements during spring floods, and year round.

Reduce the risk of a flooded basement by keeping the sump pump in top condition. Treat it to DIY maintenance several times a year. Double-check the pump before spring storm season and after any flooding in the basement.

6. Install a Back-Flow Valve

If you don’t have sewer backup prevention, talk to your plumber about installing a back-flow or check valve on your home’s sewer line. It stops sewage from backing up into the house during a natural flood. Most back-flow valves can be retrofitted into older plumbing systems.

7. Consider Flood Vents

Flood vents are another type of protection that can be retrofitted in basements and crawl spaces. The units don’t stop water from entering these areas. Instead, they allow it to flow through lower portions of the home. This action helps relieve the intense hydrostatic pressure from flood waters that can bring down walls and destroy foundations.

8. Waterproof Basement Walls

Paint basement walls with a masonry waterproofing product. The coating seals interior walls against soaked soil that stays wet through the rainy season. It also keeps moisture from creating an unhealthy basement environment.

9. Cover Window Wells

Basement windows can leak and break under the pressure of spring flood waters. Reduce this risk by installing window well covers. The enclosures protect window areas below ground level from filling with water. They also help direct heavy rain away from the foundation.

10. Check Exterior Steps

The landing and steps outside a basement door should always be checked before spring flood season. Clean leaves and debris out of the stairwell drain. Look for and seal cracks around the concrete threshold, and inspect door weather stripping for signs of damage or wear.

What Are Some Safety Precautions for Floods?

flood map
Figure out if your home is in a flood zone by looking at FEMA’s map.

When spring weather threatens to turn into a natural disaster, you need to be ready. How do you prepare for a flood disaster before it happens? Evaluate and minimize your risks with these precautions.

• Check FEMA flood zone maps.
• Make sure you have 
flood insurance.
• Develop a home 
flood evacuation plan.

Do’s and Don’ts During a Flood

What should you do during a flood?

Closely follow local news and weather reports.
• Understand how quickly flood waters can become a threat.
• Be prepared to evacuate your home immediately.

What should you never do during a flood?

Don’t ever touch anything electric unless you’re dry and safely grounded.
Be extremely cautious around electrical appliances outlets and breaker boxes.
• Stay out of flooded basements and crawl spaces until the waters recede.
• Stay off local roads until city authorities issue an all clear

We’re Always Here to Help

servicemaster truck chicago
ServiceMaster by Zaba in Chicago is here to help clean up any damage after a flood.

We want you to stay safe this stormy spring season, so check the house and yard now before the rains set in again. If the worst should happen, you can count on ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba 24/7. We’re always here to help with emergency flood damage cleanup services for Chicago home and business owners.