Friday, May 16, 2014

5 Ways To Protect Your Home From Water Damage

A recent news channel talked about the flooding in Penn Yan NY that destroyed several homes and businesses.  With the heavy rain today and upcoming forecast I thought today's blog should be about protection from Water Damage.  One of our vendors, Property Restoration Inc. representatives, Tessa Setzer, sent me via email some great information about wet basements and 5 ways to protect your home from water damage provided by www.disastersafety.org.  

I also have blogged about wet basements and damage to your finished basement in the past.  I also have some very valuable information for business owners to consider with regard to flooding.

Tessa writes: "If you have a basement that’s below ground level, chances are you have a sump pump to help keep the water out.  Sump pump failures often occur during power outages or periods of heavy rain.  When the sump pump fails, water can back up into your home.  If you have a finished basement, the damage can be extensive as water can seep into your furniture, floors, walls, and damage your electronic appliances.

On most homeowners’ insurance policies, coverage for this type of loss is EXCLUDED unless you purchase Backup of Sewer and Drain coverage.  It’s important to check your policy to see if it’s on there.  If you cannot find it, call your insurance agent and ask them to add it.  The additional coverage is relatively inexpensive depending on the limit you choose. It is an invaluable coverage.

In the event of a sump pump failure, you’ll want to do everything you can to get the water cleaned up, and the space dried out, as quickly as possible.  If there is a lot of water you should contact your insurance agent immediately!  Waiting too long to clean up the water can cause mold problems which can be very costly to remediate.

Having the correct insurance coverage in place is extremely important. This is one area in life that you do not want to skimp on. This extra coverage could literally save you thousands of dollars in the event of a loss. While this coverage may not cost much, it is amazing the number of people that don’t think they need the extra coverage. Until it’s too late. "

Tessa offered some really great information!  In addition, Flooding is also almost always excluded on a homeowner policy.  You should purchase a separate flood insurance policy.  If you have a mortgage on the home and are located in a flood hazard area (all of NYS is considered a flood zone) the bank will require flood insurance.  If flood insurance is not required there is still a chance you could experience flooding and a flood insurance policy can be very affordable.  

Lastly let me leave you with disaster.org's 5 Tips To Protect Your Home From Water Damage:

SEAL GAPS
Aging and weather can lead to gaps around the penetrations entering your home and around windows and doors.
Over time, gaps can form in areas such as where water faucet pipes, gas pipes and air conditioning pipes enter the walls. Gaps also may exist behind electrical outlets, junction boxes, circuit breaker boxes and electric and water meters. Cracks or voids under windowsills also can be created due to weather and aging. Water can enter through these openings and cause significant damage that you may not notice until it is too late and major repairs are needed.
*  To seal these gaps, apply caulk. The type of caulk you use will depend upon the location where it’s needed. 
REDIRECT POOLING WATER
Pooling water near a house can lead to significant interior damage. Consider these improvements to keep water away from your home:
*  Look at the grading of your property. The grading should direct water away from the house to avoid pooling water.
*  Evaluate the drainage of the property and consider adding a waterproof membrane to the wall where leaks have occurred.
*  Add ground or French drains to help move water away from the house.
If there are penetrations of a house within 6 inches of the ground, caulk around the penetrations and use sandbags when storms threaten to create a barrier around the penetration.
INSTALL A SUMP PUMP
A sump pump is an effective tool to keep water out of your home or business, but it may require demolition of a portion of the basement floor. Suggestions to consider:
*  Install a sump pump with a battery backup system.
*  To be effective, the sump pump needs to be located away from the basement walls and have positive drainage away from the building.
PROTECT VENTS AND SOFFITS
Attics are vented (cooled) in three ways and each can be major paths to let water into your home. Click on the resources below to see how to protect your home from wind-blown rain through these locations.
*  Vents on the roof 
*  Gable end vents 
*  Vents under eaves or overhangs 
Another area that can be a source of water damage is the soffits themselves. Vinyl and aluminum soffits are commonly installed in tracks that are poorly connected to the roof framing and walls. To perform properly during high winds, it is especially important that vinyl and aluminum soffits be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s installation requirements for high wind conditions.
SEAL YOUR ROOF DECK
Sealing your roof deck can provide an added layer of protection against water damage. A roof deck should be sealed using a membrane that is strong enough, when properly attached, to stay in place if the primary roof cover blows off. It also should be watertight enough to keep water out of the attic if the primary roof cover is lost. 
Options for sealing the roof deck during new construction or when re-roofing include (depending on your roof type):
*  a “peel and stick” membrane over the entire roof deck;
*  a 4-in. to 6-in. wide “peel and stick” tape installed over all the wood roof panel seams, covered by a 30# felt underlayment over the entire roof; or
*  a high tear strength synthetic underlayment with all vertical and horizontal seams taped.
Other options to consider:
Apply closed cell spray polyurethane foam to the underside of the decking.
Install a closed cell polyurethane spray foam applied to the underside of the roof sheathing at the joints between the sheathing panels and along all intersections between roof sheathing and all roof framing members.

If you experience water damage the trick is to mitigate further damage - identify the water source and eliminate it.  Dry the water as quickly as possible.  Our vendor that offered these great tips can definitely help with that.  They are open 24/7 and can be reached at (315) 454-0518 • (888) 761-9079.  Then you should call your insurance agent to see if there is coverage on your property insurance policy.

As always if you have questions or need more information, please feel free to contact us.


 

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