Flood Proofing

There are several ways to protect a building from flood damage. One is to keep the water away by re-grading your lot or building a small floodwall or earthen berm. Another way is to make your walls waterproof and place watertight closures over the doorways. A third approach is to raise the house above flood levels.

Many homes, though not in a floodplain, have sewers that back up into the basement during heavy rains. A plug or standpipe can stop this if the water does not get more than two feet deep. They are sold at hardware stores. For deeper sewer backup, speak to a plumber about overhead sewers or a backup valve. More information, including a list of contractors who do flood proofing and/or retrofitting, can be found in the new Flood Library located in the Municipal Building. (see article in the Council Notes Section of the newsletter for more info on the library.)

If you know a flood is approaching, you should shut off your gas and electricity and move valuable contents upstairs. There is very little notice of flooding, so a detailed checklist prepared in advance would be invaluable to you.

Emergency Flood Proofing

We have discussed things you can do before flooding occurs and safety issues when flooding occurs. There are also things you can do as the water is rising to emergency flood proof your home. Sandbagging is one of them as well as immediately moving items from your basement to the first floor (or higher if need be). Electrical appliances should be unplugged immediately. The valve on your gas meter should also be shut-off.

Need Financial Assistance?

If you need help financially to prepare yourself for a flood or to repair flood damage you can consider applying to the Allegheny Home Loan Program (AHILP). The AHILP is the most affordable way for Allegheny County residents to rehabilitate and/or improve their homes. It is sponsored by the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County and administered by Allegheny County Economic Development (ACED). There are Emergency/Priority loans with 0% interest for code violations or emergency conditions that present health and safety hazards and there is also a general improvement loan available with a very low 1% interest rate. There are also a limited number of grants available for certain code repairs, lead hazard control, accessibility improvements and public sidewalk repairs. For more information, click here.

437 Butler St., Pittsburgh, PA 15223   I      (412) 781-0569

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