6 Key Steps to Prevent Water Damage
While your home insurance policy covers certain types of water damage, such as plumbing system ruptures, other types, such as flooding, may not be covered. Spotting trouble areas and proactively preventing water damage will help you avoid costly repairs down the road.
Prepare your home and family — reduce your risk of water damage by following these simple tips:
1. Keep water away.
- As the weather gets warmer, remove any lingering snow that has accumulated near your house, especially near basement windows. Clear a path for water to reach storm drains.
- Make sure there is proper grading around your home. The yard should be sloped in a manner that directs water away from walls and windows.
2. Prepare your home.
- Install window wells and covers to improve drainage around basement windows and help prevent water from entering your basement.
- Seal cracks in foundation walls and basement floors to reduce the chance of infiltration flooding.
- Clear eavestroughs and disconnect downspouts from the municipal sewer system and extend them away from your home.
- Install weeping tiles, sump-pumps or sump-pits to keep your basement dry, and install a sewer backwater valve to help prevent water from entering your home.
- Cold snowy winters can be hard on above-ground pools, which are vulnerable to the weight of heavy snow and ice. If your pool still has remnants of snow, use a plastic shovel (to avoid damage) to remove snow from the cover and rim. Remove snow from the inside and on top of the drain to keep it from cracking. If you need to, hire a professional to be sure the work is done properly and safely.
3.Store items to avoid damage. If possible, store items on shelves rather than directly on the basement floor. Store important documents or valuables in a water-tight plastic container.
4.Plan ahead. Create an emergency preparedness plan and kit in case you have to evacuate. This kit should have a three-day supply of food, water and other essential items.
5.Know your coverage. Review your insurance policy and talk to your insurance agent to make sure you and your home are properly covered.
6.Talk to your municipal government about your home’s foundation drain connection and how to reduce basement water damage in your home.