Monday, September 17th, 2012 by Jenn Mahaney
Imagine this: Heavy rains brought severe flooding in your neighborhood during the night, leaving the basement of your home a soggy mess by morning. What’s worse, the water shorted out your washer and dryer and you’re not sure if your insurance will cover the damage. Ugh—talk about a massive cleanup job! But how do you avoid a situation like this?
At Paul Davis Restoration of Central Maine, we know floods are frightening and damaging disasters for homeowners, and it’s not always easy to remember everything when preparing for such an event. We are here to help by providing information that you can use to be ready before the water starts rising. Below are three things not to forget when preparing your home for flooding.
1. Minimize the damage to large appliances
Before the heavy rains arrive or the snow melt causes rivers to rise, take a bit of time to minimize the potential storm damage to your appliances. If possible, place appliances that typically are found in basements—such as water heaters, washers and dryers, and furnaces—on cement blocks, at least 12 inches above the projected flood levels.
If you live in a flood-prone region, you might want to consider permanently relocating these appliances to a higher floor in your home for extra protection. Don’t have a basement? Raise your refrigerator and stove on cement blocks, too. These little details will make a big difference in the amount of flood damage done to them.
2. Check your sump pump
Do floodwaters frequently infiltrate your basement? You should always check your sump pump, which removes water accumulated in the sump basin (usually found in the basement of your home) on a regular basis to make sure it’s working when you need it. Every few months, run clean water through it to remove any dirt and debris that may be clogging the pump. Regular maintenance will keep it running for years—and help keep your home dry during spring floods.
If the flooding is severe, however, it’s likely your sump pump won’t be able to handle the influx of water. In this case, don’t try to clean up the damage yourself—call in the professionals to get your home back to pristine condition.
3. Buy flood insurance
Are hurricanes a frequent occurrence in your neck of the woods? Does the local river flood almost every year? If so, you may want to consider purchasing flood insurance, which is sold separately from standard home insurance policies.
Remember, it often takes 30 days for new insurance policies to go into effect, so make sure you purchase it now—before floods leave your basement a soggy mess! And if you don’t already have one, write up a complete home inventory (with photographs) now; your insurance company will request it when you file a flood damage claim. Store it someplace waterproof and safe.
It’s inevitable that your home’s contents will get wet if you’re in the path of a flood, but Paul Davis can help you recover and restore even more of your precious items when you’ve prepared for the influx of water!
Paul Davis Restoration of Central Maine services the following communities: Bangor Brewer, Old Town, Ellsworth, MDI, Houlton, Waterville, Augusta, and surrounding towns in Central & Down East Maine.
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