While the news has focused on major flooding disasters – destruction to roads, bridgea and other infrastructure, a larger story is less reported.
Thousands of Wisconsin homeowners saw their basements flood as water seeped into their homes last summer and with the most recent event.
At the March 21 Rotary meeting, Jason Hafeman of Project Home spoke about home flood prevention techniques and a new education program for that Dane County area nonprofit.
Project Home is “kind of a quiet force,” Jason said about the organization. For the past 50 years, it has helped area residents improve or repair their houses. The organization has worked with Waunakee Neighborhood Connection, and its Hammer with Heart Program brings volunteers together to do the work.
Ninety-six percent of home flooding issues are from surface runoff, particularly when the foundation is graded poorly or when gutters are not operating correctly.
Water in the home can result in mold and health problems, and provide habitat for destructive pests such as carpenter ants.
If a home has settled, it may be necessary to build up the foundation using shredded top soil to achieve the proper slope. Jason shared some of Don Robbins’ methods, and noted that as top soil is added, it should gradually be tamped down to compact it.
It’s important to leave a 2-inch space under the bottom of the siding to prevent moisture from reaching materials underneath that could rot.
Window wells can be raised with rigid garden edging that interlocks.
To create a retaining wall, 6-by-6 lumber can be placed six inches from the home, with gravel between it and the house, then topsoil added on the other side of the wall. Afterwards, the soil can be seeded for lawn.
Clearing gutters and downspouts is also important, and as is ensuring gutters are operating correctly. Installing gutter screens also helps.
Jason’s goal is to provide 10 flood prevention projects with volunteers on homes between May and November, along with volunteer training and educational offerings.
Group Health Cooperative has partnered with the organization so far, contributing $5,000 and volunteer teams. Jason said another $30,000 will be needed, along more volunteers.
To learn more about project home, visit the website, projecthomewi.org.
Other News:
–The Waunakee Rotary Club presented three $500 checks to local quilting organizations, including Project Linus, the St. John’s Piecemakers and the Peace Lutheran’s Church quilters.
–Ken Pesik was named the Business Person of the Year.  Congratulations, Ken!
Guests: Jean Henson, Evie Schuetz, Jason Hafeman, Peggy Kollath, Susan Peterson and Doris Ast, guests of the club; Adam Bentley, guest of Todd Schmidt; Jenny Chang, guest of the club.
Visiting Rotarians: None.
Birthdays: March 29, Scott Biba; April 1, Ken Pesik; April 2, Lisa Humenik; April 2, Dan Evans.
Anniversaries: March 31, Drew and Lolly Lawrence.
Greeters: March 28, Alan Langeteig and Drew Lawrence; April 4, Kim Langfield and Bob Lenz; April 11, Ross Maurer and David May; April 18, Gordy Meicher and Dan Miller.