Flood Protection Tips
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Flood Protection Tips
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Why should I install a flood sensors in my basement?
There are as many reasons for installing a flood sensor in your basement, including:
- Perhaps a damp basement is a yearly ritual but you have it under control with the Wet Vac. You just worry someday that you won't catch the rising waters before your things get damaged.
- You read about other communities caught off guard by flooding, and wonder if your basement needs some protection from heavy rains or the spring snow-melt.
- You store valuables in your basement -- antique furniture you inherited, documents and papers, or clothing and camping gear. They would be ruined if they got wet.
Flood sensors are practical, because they alert you immediately to water in your basement. You then can act quickly to fix the problem.
What features should I look for in a home flood sensor?
When you shop for a flood or water sensor, compare the features of different brands. Essential functions can vary, such as the depth of water measured or whether the sensor can be connected to an existing home alarm.
Here is a checklist of features to shop for:
- Reliability and years of maintenance-free service. Go online to check customer ratings for products you are considering.
- Compatibility. If you already have a home security system, shop for a water or flood sensor that will hook up to your home alarm. If you are unsure, check with the dealer where you bought your alarm system. Either the company will have a compatible product or know where to find one.
- Effectiveness. Look for a sensor that can detect water overflow or flooding right when it happens. Some sensors use a thin adhesive strip that can detect water under carpets.
- High level of protection. Some products let you connect several sensors – in the kitchen, basement, laundry room – to one alarm.
- State-of-the-art alarm. You may want to choose an alarm that will sound for several hours or even days if there is a problem.
- C onvenience. Look for a flood sensor that has easy DIY installation.
What kind of product choices do I have with water sensors?
There are a variety of water sensors available to meet the needs of your household. These products are readily available at many home stores, online or through your home security dealer.
- Connect a flood sensor to an existing home alarm system. Place it in areas where you are concerned about water overflow, such as next to a washing machine.
- A wireless sump-pump alarm and flood alert will let you know if your sump pump is failing. This combo comes with a six-foot long sensor and a water-sensing probe you place in the sump crock. The battery-powered alarm stays dry with a wall-mount anchor.
- A wireless flood-freeze warning flasher has a portable receiver that can be placed anywhere, or given to a neighbor to monitor when you are away. The signal range can be up to 120 feet. Remote sensors have dual functions. They detect flooding in your home, as well as indoor temperatures falling below 45 degrees.
Are flood sensors complicated devices for home use?
Flood and water sensors used to be standard protection devices in stores and large office buildings. They rarely were seen in homes. But thanks to wireless technology, flood and water sensors can be a regular part of your home security system.
The small sensors can be placed in flood prone areas, with the transmitter housed in a box mounted on a wall. It's so easy to install and activate a flood sensor, you can do it yourself. Battery power means no hassle with wires or worry about electrical cords in areas prone to flooding.
These sensors also can hook up to your main security system or work in tandem with a security camera that can zero in on the water damage and videotape it for insurance coverage.
What preventive steps can I take to stop water damage?
Flood sensors are practical for detecting burst pipes in your home. They will signal a problem before you have had time to notice. But there also are some steps you can take to prevent flooding and water damage in the first place:
- Keep your house heated to a minimum temperature of 62 or 65 degrees Farenheit. Lower temperatures can cause the pipes in your walls to freeze.
- Clean rain gutters to avoid ice dams in the winter. They can cause water to seep into your house and create a mess.
- Don't leave an attached garage door open. The draft in winter can lower your home's temperature and freeze pipes.
- Know the location of the water shutoff valve of your house, in case you need to turn it off in an emergency.
- Drain you water system to keep pipes from freezing, if you plan to be away for a long time in the winter.
- Check your home insurance policy. Do you have adequate coverage for water damage and flooding?
Why should I get a flood sensor for my home?
Installing a flood sensor will protect your home from damage and, more important, protect your health from harmful mold.
Mold and mildew flourish in dark places, and your basement can be a prime area, if it is vulnerable to flooding. Mold spores can be carried through your air-conditioning system to other parts of your home.
Before you know it, you have a sick home and unhealthy is remaining indoors causing family members to suffer from respiratory problems, like allergies and asthma.
Your best bet may be a flood sensor that will detect the earliest signs of trouble. Once you have the early warning system in place, take steps to end mold growth in your basement.
- If mold already is a problem, you need to clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
- Fix the source of the water problem. This may involve installing a sump pump.
- Run a dehumidifier in your basement every day.
- Immediately clean and dry building materials and furnishings. You have 24-48 hours before mold will start to grow.
- Get rid of moldy carpets and don't put down new carpeting in areas that may flood.
How can I upgrade my burglar alarm system?
When you buy home security, consider a national company that offers brand-name products and warranties. Expect to have your system for years. You want to choose a company that will provide the service and upgrades you need.
National companies also are likely to offer the latest innovations and accessories in home security. Services by home security companies have broadened significantly. Protection is no longer just about hooking up to a burglary alarm.
Look for these other product innovations:
- Flood sensors that use wireless technology to detect leaks and flooding in your home before it becomes a crisis.
- Medical panic pendants that can be worn around the neck and summon help with a single push of the button.
- Low-temperature sensors that alert a monitoring facility when your home drops to chilly levels that can burst pipes.
- Monitored carbon monoxide detectors that notify 24-hour responders when levels are dangerous.
What are flood sensors?
If you live in an area prone to floods, or if your basement gets wet each spring, you may want to consider a flood sensor.
It is a wireless device placed in the basement. It will detect water flooding at early stages. Flood sensors give homeowners assurance that they will be alerted to water problems as soon as they occur.
Flooding damage can be costly if not caught early. Walls can collapse, furnishings get ruined, and unhealthy mold can grow.
What are common uses for water sensors?
The great thing about a water sensor is how useful it is. Some can detect a fraction of an inch of water overflow on the floor and sound an alarm or tone to let you know.
Here are places you can put water sensors:
- Under the bathroom sink, where leaks can cause water damage to cabinets or flooring.
- Next to the water heater to detect early signs of leaks and save you money.
- Under refrigerators, dishwashers and washing machines. Catch leaks before they damage your floors and prevent the unhealthy growth of mold.
- In your basement. Put sensors in areas where you think water will collect.