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12 Ways to Protect Your Home from Flooding

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Flooding near Kūlanihākoʻi in the Kīhei area of South Maui. PC: Kevin Olson.

Flooding is the #1 Natural Disaster, yet only a small number of homeowners are covered by flood insurance. Unless your home is located in a zoned floodplain, you aren’t required to purchase flood insurance with your homeowners insurance policy which results in only about 18% of homeowners carrying flood insurance in the event of the most common natural disaster occurring in your area.

With the heavy rains that affected our islands last week and another flash flood warning on the horizon through the weekend, it’s important to be safe and prepared to protect your biggest asset!

Here are some tips on how to protect your home:

1. Shut off the main water valve to stop the water

If the water source causing the flooding is inside your home, shut off the main water valve immediately. It’s a good idea to make sure everyone in your home knows where the shut off valve is located so that in the event of a busted pipe, everyone knows how to respond immediately.


2. Turn Off the Utilities

In a serious water event, turn off the power to ensure the safety of yourself and your family.

3. Do Not Use Any Electrical Appliances

To avoid electrocution, do not use any electrical appliances if your carpet or flooring is wet.

4. Use Fans to Circulate Air


Before a water removal/mitigation team is able to respond, start the drying process by strategically placing fans to effectively circulate air to begin the drying process. This is especially important in the first 24-48 hours after an indoor flood.

5. Get Water Out Quickly

Clean up as much water as possible by mopping or blotting the affected area with towels. Responding quickly will help you to minimize damages and save belongs.

6. Move Belongings to a Dry Location

Move wet belongings and furniture to a dry area. Lift furniture onto blocks or slide a square of aluminum foil under furniture legs to prevent the wood stain from bleeding into carpeting.


7. Remove Area Rugs from the Floor

Remove area rugs to avoid carpet dyes from staining flooring, carpeting and wood floors.

8. Do Not Lift Tacked Down Carpet

Carpets can shrink after they’ve become wet and then left out to dry. After drying, the formerly wet carpet will probably shrink and no longer be wall-to-wall carpet if you remove the carpet tacks.

10. Wipe Off Excess Water from Furniture

Open all cabinet drawers and doors for faster drying. Spread out dampened books and documents to encourage drying and prevent further damage.

11. Watch Out for Debris

Be mindful of dislodged materials such as nails that could be present in the water flowing through your home.

12. Don’t Throw Anything Out

Don’t throw out damaged belongings, especially expensive ones. Be sure to document a thorough list of damaged items with photos and videos as soon as you can which will help the claim adjustment process.


Visit Premiere Restoration Hawaii for more information.

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