Imagine this scenario: You’re on a great winter getaway, soaking up the rays on one Caribbean island or another. The temps are in the mid-80s, and you and your family are snorkeling and swimming with the dolphins. The last thing on your mind is the plumbing in your home back in New England.
When you get home, you discover (to your horror) that your water pipes have frozen and burst, flooding your basement and causing significant damage that requires extensive and costly repairs.
The thing is, flooding can occur at any time, not just in the winter. Flooding can happen during a big rainstorm, or if the snow melts quickly in the spring. Not only that, but groundwater or sewage can rise up through the basement floor. Even an inch or two or water can do enough damage to cost you thousands of dollars in repair costs, not to mention the money it would cost to replace all the items you store in your basement.
Additionally, floodwater can cause mold to grow in the walls of your house. It can also damage your home’s electrical system – and that could put you and your loved ones in danger because if you don’t have a backup alarm communications system, your home security system won’t work.
Since prevention is the best way to keep water from ruining your basement and your home; we offer some tips to help you keep your basement from flooding:
- Ask your security company to install low temperature sensors and flood sensors that can notify your security company water when levels start to rise or the heat has gone out. Your insurance company may even offer you a discount for using low temperature sensors, flood sensors.
The InsuranceHotline.com offers these tips to protect your home from flooding:
- Ensure that you have proper drainage so water can flow away from your home safely.
- Clean all the debris out of down spouts and gutters to keep rainfall flowing through them away from the base of the home. You should also check for signs of erosion that could result in a water risk.
- Place sandbags around your home to prevent rising waters from getting into the basement. Typically, this is only necessary during serious flood risk conditions. However, if you live by the ocean or in another area that’s prone to flooding, you should have some sandbags on hand.
- Install valves so water can’t back up through your pipes.
- Install a sump pump – and ensure it’s always working properly – to pump water out before it becomes a problem.
- Seal basement windows with heavy-duty plastic to keep water outside where it belongs.
- Seal cracks in the foundation around your basement where water might seep in.
- Check the pipes in your basement regularly to ensure they’re not leaking. Fix any leaky pipes as soon as possible.
- Be sure appliances on the main floor of your home are properly installed and the lines haven’t degraded.
If you follow these tips, you’ll have peace of mind the next time you’re lying on that sandy white beach listening to the hypnotic sounds of the surf.
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