Flooding is the most common natural disaster, and it’s no secret that Southern Maryland is prone to this type of inclement weather, especially during the summer. Calvert and St. Mary’s Counties have experienced severe flooding in recent months. Major intersections and smaller streets alike suffered fromthis past July’s storms. The rain simply wouldn’t let up, and due to collapsed culverts and pavement damage, these roads had to close.

The aftermath of these events is proof that it’s important for homeowners to understand thecommon causes of residential floodingand what they can do to avert damage to their property. One major root cause of home flooding issues is poor yard drainage. Some homes aren’t built in ideal locations, so if you don’t properly landscape around your home, you may find rainwater making its way into your basement. Fresh grass and native plants can help properly drain this moisture. Don’t forget that your home’s rain gutters and downspouts can easily clog with leaves and yard waste. If you fail to clean them out, the debris will prevent them from redirecting the extra water away from your home.

Another cause is a damaged foundation. Heavy rainfall can have deleterious effects on your foundation, and the smallest cracks can allow water to seep into your home and soak your belongings. Even a damaged roof can let water leak into your living space. You may not think your roof could cause your home to flood, but this is a common problem—and homeowners can easily avoid it.

Predicting rain can be hard at times. But Southern Maryland residents should relax knowing they can prevent destruction from future torrential downpours in numerous ways. Many property owners, for instance, elevate their homes to ensure groundwater won’t reach their floors—otherwise, their residences might face significant damage from excessive rain. On the same hand, they may grade their lawns, which helps the soil around their homes better absorb additional moisture.

Homeowners should also be sure that professional contractors have equipped their homes with operating sump pumps, which divert extra groundwater away from their properties. They even alert homeowners when the lowest levels of their homes are in danger of flooding. If you want your home to remain unscathed during intense thunderstorms, make sure you have this device. Some homes don’t come with a sump pump, but it’s an essential piece of equipment in every basement.

Before the season is over, remember to obtain flood insurance if you haven’t done so yet—even if you don’t think you’ll need it. Every homeowner wants security against unexpected storms and costly damage, but in most cases, home insurance policieswon’t cover floodingfrom natural disasters. In this case, you should have a separate policy. Thankfully, you can easily acquire it through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP); simply contact your homeowners’ insurance agent for more information. Flood insurance covers a wide range of items that often incur damage during extreme storms. Some examples are appliances, carpeting, electrical and plumbing systems, heating and cooling systems, permanently installed fixtures, and valuables.

More storms are sure to pass through the area eventually, so continue to regularly check our website for updates. We share Severe Thunderstorm and Flash Flood watches and warnings after the National Weather Service issues them. This way, you can find out exactly when to expect large hail, strong winds, and more.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...