Protect your basement from water damage

With melting snow and rain showers, the signs of spring are a welcome sight…until all that extra water winds up in your basement.

There are two important ways to help protect your home and keep your basement dry:

1. Understand the difference between flooding and water backup and what’s covered by your insurance policy.

Damage from water backup typically is included on your homeowners policy. Water backup occurs when water or water-borne materials back up into your home. This can come through sewers, drains, a sump pump, or related equipment.

Most homeowners policies don’t cover flood damage. Flooding occurs when water enters a home through windows, doors, window wells, or cracks in the foundation. This can be caused by an overflow of rivers or lakes, melting snow, or even excessive rainfall. If you live in a flood zone or have concerns about flood damage, contact your insurance agent to make sure you have the proper insurance coverage.

2. Prevent water damage in your home:

   •   Test your sump pump to make sure it is working correctly. Install a battery-powered back up in case of power outage
       and use an alarm system to detect water in your basement.
   •   Check your foundation for leaks by looking for cracks, moist drywall, or water spots.
   •   Seal your windows and make sure doorways are fitted tight to the frame.
   •   Keep your gutters clear of debris, direct downspouts away from the house, and make sure the landscaping around
       your home is sloped so any water will flow away from the foundation.
   •   Store your items in plastic containers in the basement, and keep them at least one foot off the ground if possible.

Whether your home is threatened by flooding or water backup this spring, take these precautions so you can enjoy the season without the worry of water damage.