Helpful Tips for Leaky Basements

by | Apr 4, 2011 | Flood Insurance, Homeowners Insurance

Do you find that during the spring thaw your basement takes on water? If so, below are 5 things you should know in the event you have water in your basement.

  1. Water leaking into your basement is not covered under flood insurance.

If you have a leaky basement, your flood policy is not going to respond. In order to receive assistance from your flood policy, your property and at least one adjacent neighbor (or 2 acres of land) must be completely inundated with surface water.  If you have no surface water in your yard but your basement is flooding, do not file a claim with your flood carrier.

  1. Homeowners policies have very limited coverage for flooded basements.

 Homeowners policies often provide very limited coverage for this type of event. Many “bells and whistles” endorsements include water backup coverage at $2,500. This coverage will only apply if you have a sump pump that has stopped working or cannot keep up with the water flowing into the basement. This coverage will also apply if you have a backup in a drain in your home (like a sink or toilet). If neither instance applies to you then you should expect to pay for the damage to your property out-of-pocket.

  1. Mold growth must be dealt with immediately.

 If you have water in your basement or have belongings that have gotten wet be sure to clean this up and dry these items out immediately.  Mold starts to grow within 48 hours and will become a health hazard if not cleaned up properly. Your best bet is to contact a restoration company to come out and clean up the mess before mold becomes an issue.  If you have a finished basement this is even more important because mold will feed off of your drywall and will spread throughout your walls if not treated. This is both costly and difficult to completely remove.

  1. Properly install downspouts on gutters to drain water away from your home.

 Gutter downspouts should be properly installed on each corner of your home. If possible, they should be extended with piping to direct the water as far away from the foundation as possible. This will help to keep water from building up around the foundation which can push through the concrete (with enough pressure) and start leaking into your home.

  1. Grade your yard to slope away from your home.

If you find that your basement often takes on water during the spring thaw, take a look at the ground around the foundation of your home. Does the dirt slope inward toward your home? If so, buy loam and build the ground up around the home so that the water will travel away from the foundation instead of collecting around it.

If your basement is still taking on water and the tips above already apply to your home, then maybe it is time for you to contact a basement sealing company. Although it may be pricey, often times these companies have special paint and epoxy that they use in order to stop water from entering the home.


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