How Home Security Systems Can Help with Flooding

Cathy Habas
Cathy Habas

Whether you live in the path of hurricane alley or in a city that experiences heavy snow, every homeowner is at risk to natural disasters that cause major water damage. Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the U.S. and just one inch of water can cause $25,000 of damage to your home. One of the best and most affordable ways to minimize that damage with early detection is flood sensors. These little gadgets are placed within your home in your basement, by a dishwasher, your clothing washer or anywhere that flooding could occur. Flood sensors will trigger an audible alarm when it comes in contact with water. Some will even send you a notification to your smartphone, giving you better peace of mind when you’re away from home or even if you own rental properties and want more transparency into the safety of your building. 

You know how important it is to receive instant alerts in the event of a break-in, fire, or carbon monoxide leak. But what about a water leak? Malfunctioning dishwashers and washing machines, burst pipes, water pooling around your foundation, and inordinate amounts of snow or rain can all cause water damage in your home, and the sooner you know about it, the better. Don’t wait to wake up to a flooded home when a flood sensor can provide an early warning.

Flood sensors sit on the floor or low on the wall in an area at high risk for water damage, such as near a washing machine, dishwasher, or water tank or in a bathroom or basement. Some models can detect changes in humidity and temperature that may indicate a slow water leak or the potential for pipes to freeze and burst, whereas others only sound the alarm when they come in direct contact with water.

Benefits of Flood Sensors

Flood sensors give you a chance to act quickly to reduce the extent of damage and the price of repair. The sensors typically emit a loud sound similar to a fire alarm to help you track down the source of the leak, and some may send an alert to your smartphone in case you’re away from home. If you purchase a flood sensor as part of a home security package with professional monitoring, the sensor should also alert the security company to dispatch a response team.

If a burst pipe or malfunctioning appliance set off the alarm, you have some control over the situation: Turn off the main water supply and immediately call a plumber. It’s also not unheard of for pets to accidentally knock open a faucet while their owners are out of the house. Wouldn’t you appreciate the chance to rush home or—even better—to use your smart home security system to remotely unlock the door for your neighbor to come to the rescue? The sooner you can act in these scenarios, the less damage your home sustains.

But sometimes floods happen thanks to Mother Nature, and there’s nothing you can do but move your possessions out of the way. Important documents, family heirlooms, antique furniture … flood sensors give you a chance to haul these items to safety while you still can, which reduces the overall loss sustained during a flood. 

Flood sensors also provide a psychological benefit: peace of mind. Like fire alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and home security systems, flood sensors remain vigilant 24/7. If anything happens while you are away or sleeping, you’ll be the first to know. Until then, no news is good news!

Finally, there’s a chance that having a home security system—including a flood sensor— could reduce your monthly home insurance premium. Because flood sensors can curtail the incidence of costly damage, some insurance companies reward homeowners with a discount for simply installing one in their home, especially in conjunction with other security equipment. Check with your home insurance carrier to see what kind of a discount it may offer. 

Contact Home Security Provider

If you already have a home security provider, contact them to express interest in adding a flood sensor to your package. For homeowners who don’t already have a home security provider, consider contacting one for professional monitoring services to further protect your home in the event of a flood. You can purchase flood sensors separately from any home security provider for a fast DIY option, but you typically won’t be able to integrate these products with your home’s central control panel or receive text alerts in the event of a problem.

Home Security System Companies

Want professional monitoring with your flood sensor? Consider these home security system companies:

Home Security DIY

Interested in a DIY approach? Compare these flood sensors:

What’s Next?

A flood sensor is a relatively cheap piece of equipment that absolutely pays for itself as soon as the alarm is triggered. Time to reap the benefits and purchase at least one for your home. But if you’re ready to protect your home from water damage, chances are you’re ready to protect yourself and your family from all kinds of other threats, too. Our list of best home security systems can help you compare and contrast the equipment, prices, contracts, and services of the leading companies dedicated to protecting your home from break-ins, vehicle thefts, fires, floods, and more.

About the Authors

Cathy Habas is a home writer for Over the last six years, she's covered home security, home improvement, and landscaping for sites like, Hunker, and more.