Yesterday was one of the first breaths of spring. So, it occurs to me that we should begin to think about protections for our homes for the Spring Thaw. We have been inundated with rain. It has to go somewhere, so we need to be aware of the consequences of water damage caused during the spring thaw. You can't control Mother Nature, but you can implement measures that will help prevent water damage and save on costly water damage restoration repairs.
Check your Homeowners’ Policy Read the details of your coverage as it applies to water damage and flooding. Unless you carry separate flood insurance, damage to your home caused by spring-thaw flooding will generally not be covered by insurance. Many policies also don't cover backed-up sewers unless you have an endorsement to your policy to cover this.
Prevent Water Damage It is impossible to prevent water damage for every circumstance, but you can prepare your home ahead of spring-thaw months to prevent common causes of damage.Basement pumps. Install a sump pump or a sewer backflow value and keep a battery-operated backup in case of power failure. Test the sump pump from time to time to ensure it is working. Consider installing a water alarm that warns when water is accumulating in your basement.Basement storage. Keep valuable items out of your basement. Removing any electronics or stored valuables from your basement prior to spring-thaw warnings could prove to be an important ounce of prevention. Even if you have flood insurance, electronics in the basement will be excluded from coverage.Debris removal. Remove debris from window wells, gutters and downspouts.Doors and windows. Check for any leaks around doors and windows.Exterior walls. Keep all exterior walls of your home well painted and sealed.Flood drains. If you have flood drains, make sure they work properly.Foundation cracks. Inspect your foundation for cracks that will allow water seepage and initiate repairs.Fuel tanks. Permanently anchor any fuel tanks.Grading. Inspect the grading around your home and make any changes. Design the grading to encourage the water to flow away from your home.Landscaping. Trim trees and bushes away from your home and do not store wood or compost piles nearby. Spend the effort and funds to have trees trimmed with all the dead being cut out to prevent falling limbs from causing damage.Roof. Keep your roof in good repair. Unless a tree falls on your roof during a storm, most insurers expect you to maintain your roof to prevent water leaks caused by snow melting or torrential downpours.
Basement Flooding that Recurs RegularlyHomes built close to bodies of water or in a flood zone often have reoccurring basement flooding, which is a serious problem for several reasons. Not only can frequent water in your basement permanently damage the foundation of your home, but it is a breeding ground for mold. Check your policy for the level of mold damage coverage you might have. Many policies exclude it completely or limit its coverage severely. Mold damage can greatly reduce your property value. Individuals with respiratory problems have great difficulty living in damp homes. Frequent insurance claims due to basement flooding will also increase your premiums and deductibles.
Safeguard your PossessionsKeep a file that contains an accurate list of all your possessions. Even better, videotape each room in your home showing the possessions you have. Secure this written or video inventory in a safe place, such as a waterproof container or a safe deposit box. You should include: 1. Copies of your insurance policies and your agent's contact information 2. The inventory of your major household possessions and valuables with serial numbers and store receipts for major purchases. Obtain appraisals for any valuable artwork or jewelry. 3. Other critical, irreplaceable documents such as financial records and personal documents
By preventing and addressing water damage due to the spring thaw, your precautions might just eliminate the need for any water damage repair inside your home.Please contact us for a quote on homeowners’, auto, personal umbrella, flood or any other personal insurance coverage.