Usually at this time of year we are more concerned with snowy and icy conditions on our roads and roofs; ice or snow ladened branches that may take out our roof or garage; or landing on our keister as we navigate the sidewalks. But as we’ve seen in the news, the excessively frigid temperatures have led to ice jams in local waterways that are causing some unexpected winter flooding. So should that “little” rain result in flooding, be sure you are protected with flood insurance.
We know first hand how devastating and insidious flooding is on our homes and businesses. Water is an unstoppable force that will make its way over, under, through and/or around buildings, belongings, walls, etc. While we cannot stop the rain from falling, or the rivers from freezing, we can take measures to prevent flooding issues around our homes and businesses.
The following are some preventative measures you can take to alleviate potential flooding issues:
- CLEAR YOUR GUTTERS AND DOWNSPOUTS! The purpose of your gutters and downspouts is to direct water away from your home. If they are clogged with debris, the will overflow creating pools of water that seep into your foundation and then your basement. If your downspouts do not direct water away from your home or far enough away, extend them…it’s a very simple project that can be done in an afternoon.
- Inspect your foundation/basement walls for cracks. Water does not need an easier way into your home, so if you have cracks in your foundation, have them repaired as soon as possible. You can also treat your foundation with waterproofing for an added line of defense, but make sure you treat the entire foundation as this is the only way the waterproofing will be effective.
- Check the grade of your property. The grade should be about six inches beginning about four feet from your home. If this is not the case, you can build up around the house with clean fill (not topsoil as this will retain water) that will increase the grade and allow for drainage.
- Move those gardens! If your garden sits too close to your home you are inviting water to hang around and potentially seep into your foundation/basement. Gardens are designed to absorb and retain water, not to drain off. If your current garden it close to your home, you have plenty of time to consider a new location!
- Elevate your stuff. If your basement is anything like mine, it’s home to a lot of “stuff”. One way to protect this stuff is to elevate it on shelves or blocks in case you do have water come in. We bought these great ventilated shelving units that provide elevation AND the shelves are open so when our washer went berserk and we had a little flood, the shelves didn’t have to be removed for the industrial dryers to do their job!
These are just a few tips to keep your home dry. But we cannot escape the reality that water may damage your home and in that case you will want a flood policy, because flood damage is NOT covered by your homeowners policy. So take a look around your home/property to see what you can change or enhance to best protect your investment and then give us a call to check on a flood policy. This way should a worst case flood scenario play out, you will be covered.