CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- As Houston residents begin the clean-up process, homeowners elsewhere may be wondering what they can do to protect their properties.

"We try to tell homeowners, it's the water you can't see that causes the most damage," says John Bryant with Aquaguard.

"When your basement leaks, it doesn't decide to leak one day, there's a lot of early warning signs such as dampness in the basement or musty odor, cracks on the walls or floor. Again, some kind of discoloration on the walls, white powder on the walls."

Experts recommend all homeowners take every precaution. Here are some tips they recommend:

1. Make sure your sump pump is working properly.
2. Look for early warning signs of leakage.
3. Make sure all gutters are clear and running well away from the home.
4. Purchase flood insurance.

Regular home insurance covers wind damage, but not flooding.