Spring is a common time of year for water damage to homes. You can help prevent spring water damage in your house with these tips.
A Wyatt Dowling home insurance expert can help you with the process of purchasing home insurance.
What are the most common forms of spring water damage?
Some common causes of spring water damage are rain, melting snow, and frozen pipes. Water can get into your home through the foundation, from a damaged roof, leaks around windows, or the sewer system backing up. Water damage can also begin inside your home from malfunctioning appliances or clogged drains. Common spring water damage includes:
Water entering your home through cracks in the foundation
Water coming in through a damaged roof
Water heater issues
Malfunctioning sump pumps
Tips for preventing spring water damage
Though a lot can go wrong in the spring, most water damage can be prevented with maintenance.
Start preparing in winter
When temperatures finally start to rise for good, all of the snow that has built up over winter can melt quickly. Nobody likes shoveling the snow, but you might as well get a head start on the spring thaw by moving snow away from the foundation when you shovel. Also, clear as much snow as you can from the roof.
Consider a backwater valve
Install a backwater valve to prevent water from coming back into your home through the pipes if your city’s sewer system is overwhelmed. This can be essential for flood-prone areas and municipalities where the stormwater goes into the sewer system.
Clear your gutters
Keep gutters free of debris so water can flow away from your house. The freeze/thaw cycle can continue into spring, causing an ice dam to form on your roof. This can damage the roof and cause water damage inside your home.
Check your roof
Look for damaged or missing shingles on your roof and have them replaced immediately. The next spring thaw or rain can happen at any time.
Check the grading of your yard
Water should flow away from your house, never towards its foundation. Watch where the water flows and look for puddles. You may need to make adjustments to the landscaping on your property so that all areas slope away from your home’s foundation.
Look for cracks in the foundation
A rainy spring can mean water getting into cracks in your foundation. Walk around your house and check the foundation for cracks. Small cracks can be filled with epoxy, but larger ones require professional repairs.
Check water pressure
Canadians know that cold temperatures can happen even when it seems that summer is just around the corner. Pipes can freeze and burst even in the spring, causing damage inside your home. If the water pressure on one of the faucets is low, it could mean that a pipe froze and cracked over winter.
Leaks can sometimes take a while to find, and low water pressure when it is cold out can be an indication of a damaged pipe. If this is the case, have the damaged section replaced as soon as possible to prevent water damage.
Check your sump pump
Make sure your sump pump is working properly. It will work harder in the spring when a large volume of water seeps into the ground, so it is best to be prepared. Call a professional to maintain it so you do not void your warranty. If you live in an area prone to flooding or have had problems with water near your foundation or in your basement, consider installing a sump pump if you do not have one already.
Install window wells and covers to improve drainage near basement windows and prevent water from coming in.
Maintain your hot water tank
Your water heater has been working hard all winter and may need some maintenance to prevent a small issue from getting worse. Have it maintained regularly and call a plumber at the first sign of a problem.
Spring is a common time for clogged drains, possibly from grease going down the pipes during the holidays or children putting small toys down drains. Commercial drain cleaners can damage your pipes and are not always effective, so it is best to call a plumber to address clogged drains.
Update your home insurance policy
Talk to your insurer to make sure your policy still meets your needs. For example, you may want to add sewer backup coverage or maybe you recently renovated your basement but bought home insurance when it was still undeveloped.
Your Western home insurance expert will answer any questions you may have about home insurance.
What to do if your home has flooded
If water has entered your home, be safe and stay informed.
Shut off the electricity.
Pay attention to updates about the flooding and evacuate if necessary.
Always have an emergency kit.
Do not enter standing water or cross floodwaters.
Go to elevated ground.
Record the damages after flooding has stopped and contact your insurer.