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Preventing Water Damage Due To Spring Thaw

Spring Is Coming

Spring is just around the corner, which of course means that spring thaw is coming, an event which regularly triggers water damage problems in homes and businesses, basically any structure that is ill equipped to handle excess water problems.  It is possible however to minimize the risk to your home by following a few simple rules related to plumbing and facilities maintenance.

Understand you insurance coverage.  Spring thaw related floods are not covered by homeowners’ insurance policies, and many don’t cover backed up sewers unless there is an additional premium added.

While it is impossible to prevent water damage in every circumstance, it is possible to prepare the home ahead of the spring thaw to prevent some of the more common problems.

–          Install a sump pump or sewer backflow valve and maintain a battery operated backup in case of any power failure. Water alarms can also let you know when excess water is building up.

  • Do not store valuable items in your basement, and remove any electronics or stored valuables from the basement prior to spring thaw.
  • Remove any and all debris from window wells, gutters, and downspouts.
  • Check for any signs of leaks around doors and windows.
  • Make sure the exterior walls of the home are painted and well sealed.
  • Flood drains should be inspected and kept in good working order.
  • Foundation cracks will allow seepage by groundwater. Make sure your foundation is solid.
  • Any exterior fuel tanks should be permanently anchored down.
  • Inspect the grading around the home and make any changes needed to allow the water to flow away from the property.
  • Trees and bushes should be trimmed away from the structure and wood or compost should be stored in a remote area of the yard, away from the home itself.
  • Keep your roof in good repair, since water damage due to roof leaks will usually not be covered if the leak can be traced to negligence.

Homes that are built close to bodies of water or in flood zones almost always have recurring cases of basement flooding. Frequent water in the basement will damage the foundation of the home, as well as reduce your property value. Not many things put of prospective buyers like the smell of mold. Frequent insurance claims due to basement flooding will also increase your premiums.

Keep a locked file that contains an accurate and updated list of all your possessions in a safe place, and be sure to include:

  • Copies of your insurance policies and your agent’s contact information
  • An inventory of your major household possessions and valuables with accompanying photos or video. Include serial numbers and store receipts for major purchases. Obtain appraisals for any valuable artwork or jewelry.
  • Other critical, irreplaceable documents such as financial records and personal documents

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