Around our area of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, water damage is nothing new to any of us. Especially because we see hurricanes occasionally, generously mixed with a large share of severe thunderstorms and flash flooding. Top all of that with an icy, snowy winter that leaves ice and thick snow everywhere in its path.
Here are some tips to protect your home and property from costly water damage.
Make Sure Your Drainage is in Working Order
When water builds up, that is when the bulk of water damage occurs. The obvious solution is to create ways to divert water instead of letting it build up. There are many ways to make sure your property is up to par, so that you will not have to worry about water silently destroying your property and striking at the most inopportune times.
This one is extremely important: Make sure your sump pump is working! This is not something you want to find out need’s repairs after the fact—by then, you will be looking at a considerable water damage remediation and removal bill. First off, it is good to have a pro come and check your sump pump at least once every few years.
If you want to check whether it works, here is how: Take a bucket of water, not a lot of water but enough to fill up the base of your sump pump and dump it into the draining mechanism. As the water hits it, you should hear the pump’s engine turn on and start expelling the water from the system. If the water just kind of sits there and stares back at you, it is not working, and you should do something before the next severe rainfall. Sump pumps are designed to attract the water that gathers in the bottom of your foundation and basement. As that water builds up it will eventually overwhelm the broken sump pump and turn your basement into a pond.
Your gutters—make sure they are clean. You could make this a DIY project—just grab a ladder, a small shovel and a brush and make sure they are clear of debris. Over time, leaves and other things ending up on your roof will find their way into the gutter. Clogged gutters just get worse as time goes on, especially if plants start to grow in it or if it starts to decay and compact. You can hire a pro for around $100-300, depending on the job. Clogged gutters can also lead to ice damming in the winter, so it is important to keep them under control constantly. The gutters “downspouts,” the piping or otherwise that leads the water out of the gutters and away from your property, should have about 5-10 feet of clearance from your house so that the water can run down and away from your foundation.
Do not Ignore a Leak
Think of a leaking pipe as an hourglass where the top half never stops pouring into the bottom one. Eventually the water reaches a breaking point and serious damage starts to occur to your house. This can include rotting of the wood. Soggy, weakened wood attracts pests like carpenter ants and termites, which like to eat the soft, damp wood. Check for leaks regularly, and if you see one, please make sure to locate the source and figure out the best solution to the problem. Repairing a leak at first is cheap and easy; repairing a leak after an extended period can take significant remediation, including mold and mildew remediation.
We recommend that, at least once a year, you have your roof inspected. We recommend you get a pro to do this since getting up on your roof can have its own set of dangers. However, if you live in a single floor home or if you are confident in your ability to do it yourself, go ahead. We do not advise it, though. There are many ways to see indications of leaks indoors, including dark spots around pipes in cabinets, mildew stains on your ceilings, toilets that rock, the smell of mold or mildew and “bulging” that occurs above paint or sealer when water gathers in an area but cannot escape.
There are many other solutions to leak prevention and controlling water levels within your property. You can contact your local plumber or water damage remediation specialist for advice on what else to do. Preventing water damage is a must unless you like to pay high water damage bills.
About American Claims Ensurance
American Claims Ensurance specializes in homeowners and business insurance claim representation. We work vigorously and for YOU to ensure you get the highest possible settlement from the insurance company. Best of all, when you hire the best public adjusters to represent you, you will not have to deal with the stress of working with your insurance company.
American Claims Ensurance offers our insurance claim representation services on a contingency fee basis to YOU. That means, that if we do not collect any funds for you, we do not get paid at all. We will handle the entire claim process from beginning to end and make sure you get the settlement YOU deserve.
American Claims Ensurance has decades of combined experience and expertise knowledge on how the claim process works. We will also help to expedite your water damage or other type of claim as quickly as possible.
We represent home and business owners and are retained as expert witnesses by various law firms in a variety of property loss claims, including: