Denver is well-known for its rapidly changing weather. High winds, snow and freezing temperatures can give way to rushing water within a single day. Especially in spring, rainstorms are common in the Mile-High City, making it important that homeowners be prepared for flooding.
What types of flooding are common in Denver?
Denver can undergo several types of spring flooding. The warmer season has the potential to bring with it flash flooding, river flooding, ice or debris jams, snowmelt or dry wash. Property owners should be aware of flood risks in their area.
Intense rainfall can spur flash flooding, which is the rapid rise (within six hours) of water levels in a stream. Heavy rains can also cause river flooding, where water overflows the river banks. In a debris jam, debris can block a river’s flow and back up into surrounding areas.
Snowmelt typically happens in the spring, when warm temperatures quickly melt the snow. As springtime grounds are already saturated, the snowmelt forces the riverbanks to rise and overflow. A normally dry canyon can transform into a raging river (aka a dry wash) when torrential rains fall.
Are roof inspections necessary?
Denver homeowners are advised to prepare their properties for the potentially hazardous spring storms. Start with the topmost part of the home—the roof. Remember that flooding may not occur in the basement alone. Faulty rooftops can lead to substantial interior water damage.
Prior to the start of springtime, Denver residents should inspect their rooftops for any signs of wear and tear or damage. Promptly replace missing shingles (even one missing shingle can allow water to seep inside). Repair noticeable cracks in the roof.
Consult a roofing contractor if climbing onto the roof poses as a safety hazard. Regular, annual roof inspections are key to preventing minor roof damage from ballooning into a major water damage disaster. Also be aware that roofs are ideally replaced every 15 to 20 years.
In addition to examining the roof, perform regular inspections of the attic for water damage. In the event the roof leaks, water will seep into the attic. Water stains or sagging areas along the ceiling are sure signs that water damage resulted via a roof leak.
Why are gutter cleanings important?
Just like water can invade a home through a flawed rooftop, moisture can seep into the basement through foundation cracks. The gutter system keeps water away from the foundation. Gutters blocked with leaves and other debris can lead to extensive water damage, mold and wood rot.
Clogged gutters fail to serve their purpose. This is why it is important homeowners clear the gutter system twice annually, once in spring and once in autumn. Aim the downspouts to direct water away from the home and foundation. Consider installing a gutter guard if frequent cleanings are necessary.
After gathering the natural debris from the gutter, be careful to avoid dumping the leaves and twigs into a stream, gulch or inlet. Homeowners who see debris, including raked leaves or grass clippings, in a drainage way should notify Denver’s Wastewater Management Division: (303) 446-3400.
How do homeowners prepare the basement?
Denver’s spring storms can send rainwater into the basement. As the lowest level of the home, the basement is susceptible to pooling water along the floor. Homeowners who fail to prepare the basement could find themselves wading through several inches of floodwater.
Safeguarding the basement starts with installing a functional sump pump. The sump pump keeps excess water out of the basement. Especially if the basement is prone to flooding, install a battery-operated backup pump. Be sure to test the sump pump regularly to ensure it operates.
Cover window wells with plastic covers. Rainwater has little chance to seep into the basement when properly fitted window well covers are in place. Furthermore, seal visible cracks in the foundation with caulk. Major cracks should be sealed by a foundation specialist.
Do Denver residents need flood insurance?
Since Denver is prone to flooding, residents should strongly consider purchasing separate flood insurance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Flooding is known to occur not only in Denver’s high-risk flood zones, but in medium- and low-risk areas, as well.
While flooding happens after rapid snowmelt and rising rivers, residents should also be aware that wildfires create areas that are more prone to flooding. Wildfires char the ground, making it unable to absorb water. Consequently, mud flows and flash floods are prevalent.
Flood risks remain high for five years after a wildfire. Denver homeowners who live in close proximity to areas affected by wildfire, including the Lake Christine Fire, the Bocco Fire and the 416 Fire, should consider flood insurance. Flood insurance has a 30-day waiting period prior to it becoming effective.
Residential and commercial properties alike are susceptible to Denver’s spring storms and the resulting flooding. Prepare for the spring season by keeping on hand the contact information for the area’s most reputable water damage cleanup experts, ServiceMaster Fire and Water Restoration.
Water damage is extremely destructive. Once inside, floodwater is easily absorbed into porous materials, such as wood floors, ceilings and walls. Warping, buckling and corrosion are the ruinous outcomes. Prompt attention from water damage mitigation pros is key to halting the damage.
ServiceMaster Fire and Water Restoration technicians arrive quickly to the water damaged site, assess the extent of destruction and develop a mitigation plan. Our advanced equipment and techniques ensure that all excess moisture is removed as fast as possible to prevent further water damage.
Our water damage cleanup services are comprehensive. Once the excess moisture is extracted, our specialists thoroughly dry the premises with powerful dehumidifiers. We also clean damaged property, including clothing and electronics. Deodorization returns the affected area to a habitable condition.
Flooding in Denver can be an unanticipated event. Prepare for the worst by consulting the best in flood damage restoration. ServiceMaster Fire and Water Restoration crews respond quickly to emergency calls. We are available 24 hours a day, every day of the year, for all local water damage crises.