There are a number of ways homeowners can prepare a home to minimize chances of excess water disrupting everyday life, even outside of a flood event. From easy, less expensive options, to long-term options.

Flood Proof Your Home Graphic

Easy, Less Expensive, Moderately Effective

Downspouts and Gutters

  • Regularly clear out leaves and other debris.
  • Extend downspout outlet away from home’s foundation.
  • Discharge to splash pad. Make sure splash pad drains to pervious, grassy, and properly graded areas.
  • Consider discharging downspout to a rain barrel.

Window Wells

  • Install window wells and/or replace windows with brick style (waterproof) glass.
  • Install window well cover to restrict water entering well.



  • Regrade any landscaping adjacent to the home
  • The grading should slant away from the home. This will move runoff away from the basement. More complicated grading can be done but can get expensive.
  • Video: Proper Lot Grading to Prevent Basement Flooding
  • Keep storm drains on your street clear of leaves and debris to allow runoff to flow quickly into the storm sewer.

Longer Term, More Expensive, More Effective

Install Sump Pumps

  • Use pump with battery backup.

Install Sanitary Sewer Backflow Preventers

Sanitary Sewer Lateral Maintenance

  • Replace or repair sanitary service lateral to remove cracks and loose joints.

Rain Garden

  • Install a rain garden to help minimize the volume of runoff entering the City’s stormwater infrastructure.

Flood Insurance

  • Consider obtaining flood insurance and fully understand the insurance coverage. FEMA or private flood insurance are available. Contact an insurance agent for more information.

Other Considerations and Preventative Measures

  • Understand drainage before landscaping or building additions. Small changes may have negative impacts.
  • Be a good neighbor and don’t make their problem worse by solving your drainage issue. Find mutually agreeable ways to drain water from your properties.
  • Do not store valuables in your basement if you have problems with groundwater or flooding. Items that are stored in the basement should be kept off the floor if there are concerns with water or sewage damage.
  • Avoid planting trees over the sanitary service lateral. Roots can damage or disrupt the pipe which is expensive to repair.
  • Avoid pouring fats, oils and grease down your sinks to help prevent sewer backups.

For more detailed descriptions of issues, view the Handbook for Reducing Basement Flooding.