Protect Yourself From Water In Your Basement


The standard homeowner’s insurance does not cover flood insurance.  As a homeowner, if you want to protect your home in case of flooding you have to buy that separately through your insurance agent.  With all the rain we get in this area, it is smart to have the extra flood insurance even if you do not live in a high flood area, especially when the extra insurance you carry for flooding can be less that what it will cost you to replace your personal belongings.

For more about this and other news, follow the links below.

Is Water Secretly Destroying Your Home Or Rental Property? 

Gutters are perhaps the most ignored item that home owners and real estate investors deal with. I can’t recall anyone saying much about gutters at any repair seminar I have been to, and many rehab jobs omit gutter installation in order to cut the repair or maintenance costs. 

Ironically, though everyone ignores their gutters, the fact is they’re one of the most important items found on houses in some regions of the United States.  In northern Georgia, where I live, gutters are a critical part of long term home maintenance because of the damage that water can do to a home and it’s foundations over time.

In north Georgia, our soil contains large amounts of clay. “Georgia red clay” as it is commonly referred to in these parts. Red clay can absorb lots of water which it will then hold for days as it slowly evaporates or seeps away. When clay absorbs water, it actually causes the clay to expand. This expansion is called “heaving”.

Prevent wet cellar walls and flooded lawns

Q. During heavy rainfall I get water coming into the basement where the concrete floor meets the walls. Also, the concrete in the walls appears to have some flaking. What are my best options to fix this?

A. Water in your basement can come from a lot of places. Many times it is due to a lack of gutters, improper ground sloping, clogged perimeter pipes, or hydrostatic pressure.

The first thing to check is the grading around the house and the gutters. Ensure that your gutters are not clogged and that they are draining well away from your foundation walls; 10 feet is my preference. Most folks I know do not like downspouts extending out far. If there is pavement in this area, make sure it slopes away. Correct it if it does not.

If you do not have gutters, consider getting them.

It’s important to make sure the ground slopes away from the foundation ½-inch per foot, or 5 inches over a 10-foot distance. If the property lines are too close, consider increasing this slope and using swales or underground drain piping.

High and dry: Tips to prevent basement floods

The last thing any homeowner wants to see is standing water in his or her basement.

Owatonna Fire Chief Mike Johnson, who also serves as Steele County Emergency Manager, said in a press release Tuesday that several Steele County homes have experienced flooding during recent heavy rainfall, including more than three inches recorded falling in Ellendale on Monday. Johnson is encouraging all homeowners to make sure their properties are secured against flooding.

“Flooding is a disaster that wears people down. Everything is wet. You could have mold issues. You need to remove the carpeting, sometimes the drywall. All your belongings are damaged,” he said. “… I’ve seen tornados where people responded very quickly. … Flooding takes more time.”

To prevent having to make these repairs, he advises homeowners to take a number of steps that can keep their homes high and dry, or at least help them bounce back in case of a flood. Perhaps the most important is to carry flood insurance.

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