A rainy day can bring more than a gloomy mood – it can bring unwanted water damage into your home. While you may not be able to stop every water issue, there are a few things you can do to safeguard your home from being exposed to excessive water:
1. Install (or have a contractor install) a sump pump.
A sump pump is responsible for moving excess ground water from the inside of your home to the outside. So, if your basement begins to flood, it should prevent extensive damage from occurring.
You may opt for a battery backup sump pump system so that electrical power failures don’t cause your sump pump to fail. Also consider installing an alarm so you can be notified of the loss in power to your pump. Your sump pump should be tested annually.
2. Install (or hire a contractor to install) a backwater valve.
This device prevents city sewers from backing up into your basement plumbing fixtures.
3. Have your roof inspected regularly.
Fixing minor issues now can help prevent larger repairs down the road. Repair any shingles that appear to be missing or damaged.
4. Clean (or hire a professional to clean) your gutters.
Your gutter system is the lifeline protecting your home from spring showers, guiding rainwater away from your roof and foundation. Leaves and other debris can quickly build up and prevent water from flowing away from your home. Grab a pair of gloves and a sturdy ladder to scoop organic materials out of your gutter system. If you’re not comfortable doing this on your own, don’t hesitate to call a professional.
5. Check your property for low-lying areas and improper grading.
Is there an area of your yard where water continuously pools? More importantly, is that area close to the foundation of your home? If you answered yes to either of those questions, your best bet is to contact a landscaping and drainage specialist to assess the area. If you let your home’s grading deteriorate, it’s only a matter of time before water will find a way into your home.
Sometimes, water still finds a way into your home no matter how many precautions you take. If it does, having the appropriate insurance is key:
- Flood insurance – Remember, your Homeowners policy doesn’t automatically include flood insurance. Flood insurance must be purchased as a separate policy, either privately or through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Typically, there’s a mandatory waiting period before it will go into effect (30 days for policies purchased through NFIP). Ask your local Rockford Mutual Insurance agent about those options.
- Sewer/Drain Backup Coverage – For extra protection, ask your local Rockford Mutual Insurance agent about adding Sewer/Drain Backup coverage to your Homeowners Policy. This endorsement provides coverage if water or sewage backs up into your house through sewers or drains, or overflows from inside a sump pump or other system designed to remove water that drains from your foundation. (Sublimits apply for this coverage.)