Spring storm season is here – which means it is flood season, too. Sure, homes and businesses can experience water damage year-round (and trust us, it happens probably a lot more than you realize), but spring sees a major uptick in flood claims.
According to FEMA, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods in the few years. And those aren’t the only causes of spring flooding. FEMA says there are several mains of spring flooding.
Berks County is no stranger to heavy spring rains. Even downpours that last just a few hours can dump several inches of precipitation that has to go somewhere. Once the ground becomes too saturated with rain water, it heads anywhere gravity will allow. That could mean clogged sewers, overflowing rivers and lakes, or even seeping in through a small crack in your home’s foundation.
While Pennsylvania certainly doesn’t have the snowiest winters in the country, we are no stranger to snow – or massive blizzards and snowstorms. But after major snow events, the danger of flooding rises if the event is followed by a major warmup. Just like the rain above has to have somewhere to go, so does all the snow that is melting! FEMA says just one foot of compacted snow contains one gallon of water. So imagine an entire yard of snow melting in just a few hours on a 60-degree day. That water has to go somewhere – be it into your home, or into local waterways, causing their levels to rise dramatically.
FEMA describes flash flooding as “rapid flooding in low-lying areas in less than six hours.” This is an especially large danger for drought-stricken areas like we witnessed in California earlier this year.
But, flash flooding can happen anywhere. Even one massive thunderstorm can dump more water than the ground can absorb, and trigger localized flash flooding. When a flash flood happens, there is no time to prepare for what is coming. You just need to get to safety.
To prevent water from getting into your home, do a frequent check of your basement or crawlspace. Check for any cracks where moisture could come in, and have them sealed immediately. Don’t forget to do a quick check of the attic too, in case the heavy rains (or hail??) may have done damage to shingles and allowed water inside.
Do you have a plan in place in case there is a flood? Head to floodsmart.gov for more information on what causes floods, and how to keep you, your family, and your property as safe as possible.
If water does get into your home, don’t worry. Team Hitchcock has been handling house floods for decades – and seen more causes than we could list on one sheet of paper. The bottom line is we know how to get the water out quickly and restore your home to how it was before the flood happened. The most important thing to remember is to not wait to call for help! The longer you wait to call, the more time you are giving the water to seep into every nook and cranny, and mold to grow.