What To Do When the Spring Thaw Brings a Wet Basement

melting snow water in basementGood news! Spring is about to arrive! Bad news! This is the time when Mother Nature and circumstance conspire to pour water into your basement. But this is a problem you can prevent or rise above with the following tips:

Know ahead of time who can help and how

Check your insurance policy carefully to see what it says about water damage. Standard homeowner insurance policies don't cover flooding, but where individual companies draw the line on what is flooding and what isn't can vary. Some will only consider damage to be the result of a flood if it arrived in your home because a specific body of water (such as a lake or river) overflowed or if your home or business is located in a declared disaster area. If you do experience water in your basement, you'll need the help of a reputable disaster repair and restoration contractor. Your insurance agent may not be able to recommend one due to state regulations, though they may be able to give you a list. Check their references carefully and find out if they have an emergency response program that will move you to the top of the priority list in a time of need.

Check out your home

Keeping water away from your foundation is the key to avoiding a basement flood. You also want to make sure that if it does get in, you can get rid of it as soon as possible. Even if it's not damaging your possessions, standing water in your basement can grow mold or bacteria and ruin your indoor air quality. If you have a sump pump, check that it's plugged in and working properly. The best way to do this is simply pour a large bucket of water into the sump well to see if the pump activates. If it doesn't, check the rod or float; it may just be sticking from lack of use. Look over the sump well or trench and make sure there's no debris in it. Clear all snow away from your foundation. This will be a lot of work, but could save you thousands of dollars in repairs. Snow can melt and refreeze in foundation cracks for days or weeks, chipping away at the integrity of your home and making a leak more likely. Make sure you not only clear the snow, but do so in a way that melt water will be moved away from the house. It won't do any good if banks of snow are moved outward but drain back toward the house when they melt. Look around the foundation for debris that may hold water or redirect it. Check your gutters and make sure they're still carrying drainage away from the house. Keep an eye out for signs of ice dams, such as very large icicles on certain parts of the roof edge. A good-sized ice dam can prevent proper drainage until well into the thaw, causing water to leak through the roof or pour right onto the ground next to the foundation.

If water gets in

Handle it quickly and carefully. Be safe and call in your disaster recovery contractor as soon as you can. The faster they act, the lower the total restoration price will be. When you contact your insurance company, be sure to avoid the word “flooding” when describing what's happened. Your best bet is to describe it as seepage or water damage. Prepare for the thaw now, and you'll be able to “think spring” without any stress at all. LDR Cleaning and Restoration is one of the premier restoration companies in Rockford, Illinois and Southern Wisconsin. LDR provides restoration services from water damage, mold removal, fire damage restoration, storm and hail damage repair for commercial and residential properties. Capable of handling any size loss and working with all types of insurance providers, the LDR disaster team is available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. Click here to contact LDR, or call 1-888-874-7066. Download your free home disaster planning eBook


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