By Rosalyn Binday
The thermometer soon – and it’s about time – will be moving well above freezing, so homeowners should be ready for possible flooding as the piles of snow throughout the tri-state area begin to melt.
This brings the possibility of leaks in your roof and walls from gutters that are dammed up, as well as backed up drains and wet basements if the sump pump can’t keep up with the ground moisture.
Many homeowners don’t realize until it’s too late that their insurance policy doesn’t always cover water damage resulting from backups, unless specifically purchased … and there is usually a cap of $5,000 or $10,000 on those conventional policies that provide this coverage. So it’s time to check around your house to prevent problems and expensive repairs.
A thaw after heavy snows and lengthy cold temperatures suddenly releases a lot of water – maybe too much for the ground around your home to absorb, or too much for your protection systems to handle.
Among the things to check as the weather warms:
- If you have a sump pump, test it to make sure it is working and that there are no clogs that would prevent it from getting rid of ground water that wants to enter your basement.
- If you have a basement that has damp spots or gets puddles on the floor in wet weather, be sure to put everything that could be damaged up on shelves and safely away from harm.
- Check your gutters and remove (or have a professional do it for you) any ice dams, especially on parts of the house that don’t get the sun. Water that is blocked from flowing down your gutters will surely find a way inside your walls.
Just as we’ve discussed during hurricane season, most homeowner’s insurance policies don’t include flood coverage, leaving you out of luck if groundwater comes in. At Advocate Brokerage, we’ll be happy to help evaluate your risk and show you how to obtain special insurance that will protect you in case of a basement flood. (However, there’s a 30-day waiting period for this government-sponsored coverage to take effect, so the sooner you look into it, the better.)
This has been a tough winter, and a touch of spring is a welcome respite. If you’ve prepared your home against any unpleasant surprises, you’ll be all set to enjoy it.