How to Protect Your Land Property from Flood Damage

How to Prevent Flood Damage

Across the U.S. and the rest of the world, superstorms and extreme weather patterns are becoming more and more common; in this environment, it’s crucial to pay attention to protecting your property from flood damage.


Tony Riggio, spokesperson at Private Risk Management Association, told us that, “Weather-related disasters are the biggest risk concern for homeowners, keeping many up at night, yet a new survey of brokers revealed that 54 percent of their clients were unprepared for flooding.” Take these steps to prepare yourself and protect your land property from flood damage.


The scariest part about potential property flooding is that it doesn’t even take that much rainfall. “A half-inch of rainfall in less than an hour can cause flash flooding in a burn area, depending on the severity of the fire and the slope of the hill,” says president of Scope Environmental Remediation Shaun Patrick Moise.


While there are many ways to protect a home and/or building, this article is designed to advise on strategies to protect land properties specifically. Here’s a few things you can do to your land property to better protect it from flood damage.


Assess the Risk


First things first, assess the risk of your property to flood damage. For property with water frontage, take a look at the property’s topography and soil types. This will tell you whether or not the property you are assessing is prone to flooding.


For an even simpler analysis, review flood maps supplied by FEMA to see if your property lies in a flood zone.


As they say, the best offense is a great defense. If you know your land property is a prime candidate for flooding, then you will be able to better prepare in order to prevent flood damage to your property.

Plant More Land Covering


A second great step you should do is evaluate how much plant covering you do or don’t have. If the majority of your land is bare, compacted ground, you are going to be a prime candidate for some flood damage. A great thing to do with this bare property is to get some plant cover planted. If you can plant a lot of native plant coverings, it will really help increase the infiltration of rainwater into the ground. The thing with native plant cover too is that it actually has much deeper roots than just normal grass so it really helps prevent erosion, which is a big result from flooding.


If you have recently fell victim to a wildfire on your land property, you will especially want to get some plant covering immediately. According to Shaun Patrick Moise, President of Scope Environmental Remediation, “The roots from vegetation help to draw out the moisture as well as hold the ground together during rainfall. After a fire the vegetation has usually been burned away causing a problem and raising the likelihood of landslides.”’


Maybe you don’t have time to plant new trees or vegetation? We totally understand, but an easy thing to do is just preserve the trees that you do have. The tree canopies act as umbrellas during heavy rainfall. When it’s raining the constant slamming of the water droplets into the soil causes erosion, but with plenty of tree canopies, it can lessen the blows and reduce the damage and better help protect your land.


When asked how long after a wildfire occurs is there a strong risk of flooding, Shaun told us, “You are potentially at risk until the area has regrown vegetation to soak up the water and hold the soil in place.”


Improve Soil Conditions


The main objective here is to have your soil be able to absorb as much as possible. You want your soil to be like a sponge. If your soil has been packed down by a ton of foot traffic, animal hooves, or even machinery, it won’t allow for any water to soak into the soil. You need to get that soil loosened up so the water doesn’t just flow down hill, but hits, sticks, and absorbs.


Another way to better help that water absorb into the ground is by leaving lawn clippings, dead leaves, and small pieces of debris on your lawn. Just let them lay right where they are. Not only does it help the soil retain the water, but it also provides good nutrients for the soil and protects it.

Swales Protect from Flood Damage

Build Swales


One more additional thing you can do to protect your land property from flood damage is build some swales (see image above). Swales are an important tool for irrigating your garden, mitigating stormwater runoff, and reducing erosion on your land property. In layman’s terms, they move water across the contours of a landscape and allow time for it to penetrate the ground. Best part about them? They are free for you to make! All they require is a little sweat and elbow grease.


With a little bit of preparation, you can go a long way to preventing high-impact damage to your property. Make the investment now and protect your property from whatever tomorrow brings!



Photo Credit: Clemson University | Geograph U.K.

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