What is the purpose of a flood sensor?

Flooding is a possibility that every homeowner may find themselves worried about. It’s a fair concern to have too — between weather, low temperatures, burst pipes, and other seemingly unforeseen circumstances, flooding can be seen as a when rather than an if. While we should always hope for the best, preparing for the worst is what home security is all about. The possibility of damage that can be caused by even a minor house flood is why many homeowners have added flood sensors to their home security systems.

iPropertyManagement, a website that sources statistics from the likes of Stanford News, FEMA, the EPA, and the Insurance, Information Institute,  points toward the need for flood sensors. Their research indicates that 98% of basements experience some form of water damage, with 14.6 million homes in the United States at risk of flooding. If flooding is not noticed and stopped quickly, water damage can cause massive effects on the home. Wood begins absorbing water, warping it, carpets become saturated, and this can cause fungus and mold to grow. Flooding doesn’t just make the rooms filling with water a little damp; if left untreated, these repairs can end up costing more than the home, and can even permanently damage the foundation of the home.

The purpose of a flood sensor is to catch the beginnings of a flood before it becomes too late. By detecting the presence of water in your home before serious damage occurs, you’re not only protecting your belongings from harm in the event of a flood, you’re potentially saving yourself thousands of dollars in repairs from the possible water damage by catching the flooding early and taking action to prevent any further flooding.

How does a flood sensor work?

With such a wide variety of flood sensors available for homes, it can seem a little daunting knowing which one to pick. You can rest assured knowing that despite the varieties of flood sensors available, each one works about the same. Flood sensors are devices with metal prongs that, when immersed in water for a set amount of time, will set off the flood sensor. Flood sensors very rarely experience false alarms, thanks to the amount of immersion required and how long they stay immersed; an amount of water that isn’t of any concern, like a spilled glass of water, won’t incorrectly set off the flood sensor.

Flood sensors work best when combined with security systems connected to interactive services, such as Alarm.com. When working alongside one of these applications, you can be informed instantly when your flood sensor is going off, giving you time to get back to your home to take care of it as soon as humanly possible. Without these notifications, there’s the possibility you won’t know the flood sensor has been going off until you get back home and it’s too late.

How to properly place flood sensors during install

In order to get the maximum use out of your flood sensors, your best bet when placing them throughout your house is to place them in areas where flooding is likely. Basements notoriously get flooded, making these a key location to place your flood sensors. When installing these sensors, consider placing them around appliances that work with water and could release water in the event of a malfunction; things like washing machines and heaters, dishwashers and beneath your sinks. These are areas where malfunctions and burst pipes can cause flooding without you being aware, so keeping your sensors in and around these areas of the home can ensure that you’re informed whenever a flood may occur. Additionally, when installing your flood sensors, make sure the metal prongs are facing downwards in order to make sure that the device is sensing floodwater as soon as it happens.

Why you should include a flood sensor in your alarm system

Even a small amount of flooding can have massive effects on your home. Even an inch of water in a small home can cost you as much as $11,000 of repairs, replacements, and wasted water. This price can only go up with larger homes, more water, and in worst case scenarios, heavy storm damage and contaminated water. Nobody wants to deal with extensive water damage, and the best way to prevent it is to prepare for it, and flood sensors are some of the best prep work anyone can do to ensure that their home is safe from flooding.

Home security doesn’t just mean preventing burglaries and home intruders, it means securing your home from any dangers that may befall it, and flooding is a big one that is difficult to take preventative measures against. No house is perfectly flood-proof, and weather and burst pipes can cause flooding entirely by chance. Rather than preventative measures to “deter” flooding, the best bet the average homeowner can take is being informed as soon as flooding is happening in their home, and flood sensors provide just that: a quick notification that flooding is taking place so you can immediately take action to alleviate the damage that could be caused.

No home is perfect. Pipes can burst, appliances can break, and even with perfect maintenance of a home, weather is uncontrollable. With so many variables that can cause flooding, it’s nearly impossible to take measures that will prevent flooding 100% of the time from every potential cause. By owning a flood sensor in your security system, you can have immediate access to information on your home when it counts most. By placing your flood sensors near appliances that require water, under sinks, and in your basement, you’ll be able to ensure you’re kept notified – and knowing when flooding starts is a lot better than not knowing your home is flooding until it’s too late. You may not be able to completely prevent flooding, but you can certainly minimize the effect it has on your home before you end up spending thousands of dollars in repair costs.