While many of us are anxious to put this cold, snowy winter behind us there are some important things to keep in mind with the warming temperatures and the volume of melting snow we're likely to see.
To help keep the water out of your home here are some things you can do:
Clear the snow from your roof - Whether it's with a snow rake or a shovel, pay extra attention to the bottom side so when the snow does melt it can get to your gutters or has somewhere to go besides in your home.
Shovel around your house - Ideally snow should be cleared 3-5 feet from your foundation, the further away it is the less you're going to have running in to your home. Seepage is typically not covered so it's important to figure out how water drains away from your home. This will also provide relief to your sump pump.
Check the discharge line for your sump pump - It should be cleaned, not frozen or covered by snow to prevent water backing up in to your basement. Also test it to make sure it is properly working by using a 5 gallon bucket and placing water into the sump pump basin. We are always available to review your water/sewer back up coverage but please note there is a 10 day waiting period to increase coverage.
Flood policies - We have had a number of inquiries about flood policies and in general they do not cover seepage through a foundation or floor like what may happen with melting snow. However, if an overflow covers 2 acres or more that is considered a flood and rising ground water seeping into a basement would be covered under a flood policy. There is a 30 day waiting period for flood policies to kick in. We're happy to discuss this more in depth with you if you have additional questions.
Ice Dams - Similar to flood policies we've had many questions on coverage for ice dams. In general they would be covered assuming they're causing damage to the interior of your home but the removal would only be covered in the area where damage has occurred. (If it is not causing damage to your home removal would not be covered.) If you find yourself in this situation, please call us to discuss if a filing a claim is your best long-term interest. In addition, there are a number of companies advertising ice dam removal service and as with any contractor it's important to find one with an acceptable reputation and the proper insurance coverage (i.e. General Liability and Workers Compensation.)