How to Prevent Flooding in Your Own Home
As much as Singaporeans talk (read: complain) about the sunny weather here, rain is just as much a part of the weather here. From the infamous Orchard Road floods in 2010 that damaged thousands of dollars’ worth of luxury goods to the more recent ones, floods can sure dampen one’s mood. While HDB dwellers may not think of flooding as a big problem, the adage goes- better safe than sorry. So here are some ways you may prevent flooding in your home.
1) Fix that Leaky Tap
When you’re caught up in the bustle of your daily work and activities, it’s easy to ignore the leaky tap that really bothers you in the quiet of the night. If you allow it to go unchecked, you might end up tackling a flooded bathroom or kitchen in the middle of the night. Worse still- if you try to fix it yourself without doing enough research, you might end up like this homeowner. It’s always best to seek help from professionals- after all, prevention is better than cure.
Jasper from ID Department advises homeowners who fear flooding from burst pipes to change to copper or stainless steel pipes- one downside is that these pipes rusts easily. If your house is flooded, call contractors, who have more experience in handling the practical cleanup.
2) Pumped up
icemanj / Shutterstock
For homeowners with a basement, flooding is the stuff of their nightmares. That’s when the sump pump comes in. Simply put, these pumps are installed in your basement and will pump water away from your house in the event of a flood. Take note though- don’t wire these babies to pipes within your house and risk flooding other areas of your home! The battery powered ones are also your safest bet in the event of a power outage.
Justin Ong from Elegance Concept says that flooding in Singapore is rare, but drain chokage- especially in landed property could be one cause. “For HDB owners, make sure the sewage pipe is unclogged. Once flooded, depending on the flooring material, damage can vary. For carpet/timber flooring which is not water resistant, the whole flooring will have to be replaced.”
3) Invest in sandbags
Yorkman / Shutterstock
A sandbag is quite literally a bag filled with sand- it may not seem like much, but it acts as a rather handy flood prevention device. It works mainly to divert moving water as well as debris to minimize water damage- it’s important to know how to stack them correctly so as to keep your possessions dry. While they might look a little out of place at first, think of them as a worthwhile investment. Afterall, this only adds flavour to your Singaporean style.
4) Clear the drains
We’re sure most of you have seen the National Environmental Agency(NEA)’s advertisements for the prevention of dengue, which vaguely resembles a horror movie thriller. Well, did you know that ensuring your drains are unclogged also aids in flood prevention? Unclogged drains mean a blockage free environment that’s conducive for water drainage and undesirable for Aedes mosquitoes. Regularly conduct checks on drains near your home to make sure everything’s flowing as it should be!
“Clear the pipe regularly- make sure it’s at least once a year. Don’t throw the trash into the drains. We’ve seen quite a lot of kids’ toys in the pipes which really slows down the flow. Too much oil down your kitchen drain will clog the pipes as well. Call the contractor to assess damage to the pipes.” Jeffrey from MJS Interior advises.
5) Flex your green fingers
Many Singaporeans love houseplants- but for those with the space to do so, plants could assist in flood control. A mini garden means more plants to hold the soil together and absorb water. This allows rainfall, which accumulates on the pavements, to be diverted into the planting holes. Also, some greenery inside (or outside) your home never fails to brighten the place and freshen the air- some plants have air filtering properties!
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all these changes you might have to make, don’t worry. While it’s good to prepare for rainy days- both literally and figuratively, you should only make major changes when you tick off this checklist. If you’re a homeowner suddenly wishing for a high-rise HDB flat, honestly, the grass is always greener on the other side.