My brother once told me that the biggest challenge of home ownership is keeping water where it’s supposed to be and keeping it out of where it shouldn’t be. So true. Whenever it storms at night, I lie awake listening to the sump pump gargling and spitting, gargling and spitting, and I hope that it keeps doing its job.
With all the storms we've had lately I thought of building an ark, but I'd really like to know how to keep all that water out of my house and where it's supposed to be.
According to the website for the city of Brecksville’s Service Department, regular maintenance of your sump pump can prevent pump failure, extensive water damage and damage to your belongings. If your sump pump is operating frequently, it can be a sign of water buildup due to poorly sloped landscaping, poor rain runoff, gutter back-flows or other problems.
I like to prepare for the worst, or at least read about preparing for the worst. So I looked at the city of Brecksville’s Emergency Preparedness Manual, which is available online. This manual says that one of the most important precautions you can take against flooding is to purchase a flood insurance policy. Brecksville participates in the National Flood Insurance Program which allows all homeowners to purchase flood insurance, regardless of home location.
The manual also has some suggestions for what to do before, during and after a flood, including:
- Remove stored yard waste and tree branches from your property, keep ravines and streams on your property clear of debris and elevate appliances in areas of your home that could become flooded
- Be prepared to evacuate, avoid driving through or walking through flooded areas and stay away from downed power lines
- Stay on solid ground after a flood because surfaces may be unstable, electrically charged from underground power lines or filled with debris
In my experience, it’s also a good idea to keep your gutters clean, and if you have a leaky basement you might want to consider having it waterproofed. CP&S is one company in Brecksville that specializes in waterproofing. You can also check out the list of contractors who are registered to do work in the city of Brecksville.
I now have a battery back up for the sump pump, which gives some peace of mind. But I still can’t sleep if it’s storming.