The old saying goes “April showers bring May flowers.” But did you know that April showers can bring more than May flowers? Yes, unfortunately those April showers which are so important to flower growth can also bring dreaded water losses. Rain that exceeds the capacity of storm sewers, sump systems, bodies of water, and the ground’s ability to absorb and hold water can cause big problems for your home, resulting in significant water damage and monetary costs.
Once this uninvited water enters your home, it has the potential to damage everything it comes in contact with such as flooring, walls, insulation, framing, appliances, and your home’s furnishings. If not addressed, this water can lead to mold growth and wet rot (a future blog!). The key to minimizing water damage is to call a reputable water remediation company that can immediately begin to extract water from your home and begin the drying process.
Most homeowner’s policies contain an exclusion for water damage. This exclusion will typically eliminate coverage for water damage resulting from flood or surface water including tidal waves and overflow of a body of water or spray (think hurricanes), water which backs up through a sewer or drain or overflows from a sump system, and water which is below the ground and exerts pressure on or seeps through a building, sidewalk, driveway, foundation, swimming pool, or other structure. It is important that you carefully read your insurance policy to know what sort of exclusion it contains for water damage so you are prepared in the event of a loss.
Often times you can purchase an endorsement to your homeowner’s policy that will provide coverage for water losses resulting from a back-up of a sewer or drain or overflow from a sump system. Having such an endorsement on your policy can provide a great deal of financial protection in the event of heavy rains that over-tax the sewer system or when your sump pump can’t keep up with the amount of water around your home’s foundation. A water back-up and sump discharge or overflow endorsement can also provide coverage for those occurrences of water damage in the event a sump pump quits working or you experience a power failure rendering your pump useless (check out our video on maintaining your sump pump to assure maximum performance!)
In addition to having a water back-up endorsement to protect you from drain back-up and sump overflow losses, it is also a good idea to have a back-up system for your sump pump in the event your primary pump malfunctions. There are many products on today’s market that can prevent or alert you to sump pump failures such as alarms, battery operated back-up systems and generators in the event of a power failure. On top of back-up endorsements, flood insurance is often available through the National Flood Insurance Program for those who live in an area at risk of flood damage. For more information on flood insurance, please contact your local agent or visit www.fema.gov/business/nfip/.
While you are out this spring enjoying the beauty that Mother Nature provides or scrambling to find that perfect flower bouquet for mom (Reminder: Mother’s Day is this Sunday!), remember that Mother Nature can also carry a mean streak. Make sure you and your home are prepared for whatever water she throws at you. If you have ever dealt with a water damage loss, I would love to hear how you handled it.