Water damage is one of the most common and expensive tragedies that your property can face, costing billions of dollars every year. With the correct insurance coverage and the following practical tips, you can protect your home most valuable asset from water damage.
Insurance and water damage
- Different types of coverage cover different forms of water damage.
- Burst pipes, wind-driven rain, and damage caused by ice dams on your roof are all covered by homeowners and renters insurance. Water that comes from the top down, such as rain or burst sprinklers, is often covered by a typical homeowners policy.
- Sewer and drain backups are covered by some plans, but not all; nevertheless, you can add a sewer backup rider to your homes or renters insurance.
- Water that rises from the ground up, such as from an overflowing river, is usually covered by a separate flood insurance policy, which can be acquired through the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or through some private insurers. Learn more about flood insurance if you live in a flood-prone location.
- One of the best methods to avoid water damage from natural catastrophes is to keep a property properly.
Water seepage in the basement should be avoided.
- Your basement should be re-sealed. Cracks in building foundations or floor slabs are common causes of water in basements. It’s possible that your once-waterproof cement flooring and basement walls have deteriorated if you detect water seepage after heavy rain when you’ve never had an issue before. Water sealant can be used to prevent seepage in sensitive places.
- Ensure that water drains away from the structure. Soil that has settled in such a way that water flows toward the building exacerbates seepage. Rainwater that flows towards the building after a storm, especially if the earth is already wet, runs down the exterior of the foundation wall, potentially through any gaps.
- Backwater valves should be installed. Sewer backups, while less prevalent than other causes of basement flooding, are inconvenient. Learn more about your sewer obligations, as well as how to install and maintain a backwater valve, which allows sewage to exit but not return.
Your indoor plumbing systems should be maintained and understood.
- Examine the hoses and faucets on your appliances. Check the hoses leading to water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines, and refrigerator icemakers at least once a year. You might also wish to invest in a water leak detection and shut-off system that will notify you if there are any leaks. Replace any hoses that have cracks or leaks right away, and do it every five to seven years.
- Examine the showers and tubs. Make that the seals and caulking surrounding showers and tubs are watertight, and reseal if necessary.
- Turn off the water supply to the washing machine when you go on vacation, and never leave the house with the washer or dishwasher running.
- Know where your home’s main water shut-off valve is located. Water might flood your property if a hose is damaged or a pipe bursts. It will save you tension, money, and time if you can immediately identify and shut off the main water supply.
- Install a pressure release valve in your plumbing system in case of an emergency.
This will stop your pipes from bursting by protecting them from the increased pressure created by frozen pipes.
- Examine the plumbing and heating systems. Look for cracks and leaks and have any necessary repairs completed as soon as possible.
Your home’s exterior should be repaired and protected.
- To prevent water seepage, caulk and seal windows.
- Make any necessary repairs to missing, damaged, or deteriorating shingles on your roof.
- Make sure your downspouts are clear. Remove any material that has gathered in the rain gutters and downspouts. Downspouts should be positioned so that water is directed away from the home.
- Make sure sprinklers and irrigation systems aren’t causing water damage to the house’s walls and foundations.
- To avoid frozen pipes, turn off and drain exterior faucets.
Install gutter guards to keep water moving away from the house rather than gathering on the roof and clogging the gutters.
Keep an eye on your valuables.
- Especially in regions with plumbing pipes or that are prone to dampness, such as basements and attics, store off-season and other bulk belongings in waterproof bins.
- Never store valuables or mementos where they could be damaged by water. Mold can be a problem when there is a lot of water and moist.
- In basements, keep goods off the floor on shelving. They’re less prone to be harmed by water seepage or sewer blockage.
Maintain a current home inventory. In the event of water damage, having a complete list of your belongings will save you time, difficulty, and stress.