Spring is here and with it comes the inevitable snow melt, heavy rain showers and “water damage” season will be upon us once again. As a constant reminder to our long term clients and hopefully of interest to those that have joined us recently, we present some timely information to help you keep your home and business dry and free of water damage.
- If you have ever had a flooded basement, you know the damage can be extensive, expensive, and the inconvenience, unforgettable. If your basement is unfinished, we suggest you at least store items in plastic containers or on shelving at least 12” off the floor. A finished basement requires more aggressive measures to protect your investment.
- Do not finish areas of a basement that may be prone to leakage or other water damage;
- Clear overflowing eaves troughs and downspouts of leaves and other debris that prevent proper drainage;
- Check the attic to ensure the floor is insulated and the condition of the roof from the inside is good;
- Make sure your roof is in good condition and that shingles are secure.
- All attic doors located in air-conditioned spaces should be properly insulated, sealed and weather stripped, and all hidden penetrations (i.e. stack vents, partition walls, and electrical chases) should be properly sealed and insulated as well.
- Check for and repair leaks in walls, floors, windows and foundations;
- Disconnect eaves trough and downspouts if connected to a weeping tile system and make sure they are draining properly, ideally 1.8 meters (six feet) from your basement walls; otherwise, water from the downspouts could leak into your basement.
- – *Install flood-proofing devices, such as back-water valves, sump pumps, floor drains or caps, and check these items routinely to ensure they are working properly. These types of loss control and mitigation initiatives are very important, especially in urban centers where losses caused by weather conditions (rain and heavy snow build up) are compounded by poor drainage infrastructure;
- *Severe weather often causes a hydro interruption, it makes good sense to install a battery back-up device for the sump pump or keep a small generator to power critical electrical circuits.
- Keep snow away from the foundation to reduce surface water during sudden spring thaws and winter rains.
- Areas around ground level windows and window wells should be cleared regularly.
- Plant trees, bushes, and other native species to help absorb water.
- Consider soft-surface landscaping that allows storm water to soak into the ground rather than run directly into the local sewer systems (i.e. increased sodded areas, porous pavement).
- Make sure your lot is properly graded to direct runoff away from the foundation and entrance ways. Do not change the grade or elevation around your home unless proper authorities are consulted because this could affect proper run off.
- Check storm sewers or manholes on the street to make sure they are not blocked with debris and water can drain freely;
- At least once a year, check that all of your windows and doors are secure and re-caulk as needed to help prevent water from seeping in.
- Install a water and/or temperature (for cold months) alarm or monitoring system;
- Check that drains are clear and not clogged up with the improper disposal of materials such as fats, oils, grease and diapers; tree roots growing through cracks in the waterlines and causing blockages;
- Outside stairwell drains, sump pumps, roof leaders and drain gutters should never be connected to the sewer system.
- Keep floor drains clear of obstruction;
- Anytime is a good time to check and replace caulking around showers, sinks or tubs. Insurance for damage from seepage occurring over a period of time
- And finally, now is the best time to create an emergency preparedness plan for your family and assemble an emergency kit for hurricanes, flood or other emergencies – flashlight and batteries, battery-operated radio, etc. An internet search can provide considerable information on what you might need.
- *If done, let your insurance company know as there may be a premium discount!