Flooding is the top natural disaster in the United States, according to FEMA, causing $3 billion in flood insurance claims every year. While a storm surge can wreak havoc on your neighborhood, there are measures you can take to help mitigate the worst of the damage, from planting hardy native species to directing water flow as the flooding subsides.
Without a way to correctly route water, a lot can end up in low areas around your home’s foundation, making it harder to dry out and recover from a flood event. Here are five ways you can use precautionary landscaping for flood management. Before you begin, make sure to check your local city and neighborhood guidelines surrounding irrigation, water diversion, landscaping, and so on.
You can take the lay of the land around your home, and note where water tends to gather and where rivulets form. Encourage water drainage to divert around and away from your home by taking advantage of any existing ditches or depressions, and supplement by digging small channels to further route water drainage in the preferred direction. These water routing avenues are called swales. Swales won’t stop water from flowing, but can direct it to empty out in a safer area on your property.
2. Rain gardens
Plant native species with deep roots and high wet soil tolerance in a garden at least ten feet away from your foundation in an area that tends to get swampy. These plants will help “drink up” excess water and prevent it from draining under your home.
Gutters and downspouts can dump water too close to your home’s foundation. Diverters can carry water away in the direction of your choice, and are inexpensive and easy to install. Angle diverters towards your swales to create a sensible flow of water that is consistent.
If your house is located by a hill or slope that sheds water straight at your location, build up grass and natural barriers to help reduce damage from flooding. Create a retaining wall with stone or brick, cover with dirt, and lay sod over the tops to develop a natural looking watershed that will smoothly redirect water to areas with tolerant plants, and circumvent your home.
If your home is close to a waterway, planting the right kind of vegetation can help filter water. Line frontage with trees and shrubs that have deep roots, like dogwoods and ninebark. This can help absorb any runoff, block debris from piling up on the bank, and help prevent erosion.
Being intentional about the varieties of plants you use in your gardens and the way you lay out your landscaping can turn your property into a flood managed area.
Do you have flood insurance? Ultimately, it’s important to remember that nothing will truly give you peace of mind like having an active flood policy in place when the need arises.
Your Olympus agent can now offer you a flood policy with our flood partner, Neptune. Get a quote today.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not form a part of, replace, change or amend any terms, conditions, provisions or language within your Olympus Insurance policy. We encourage you to read your entire policy.