4 Steps Today Can Prevent Water Damage Tomorrow
Mother nature waits for no one. As temperatures rise and inevitable spring rain falls, Wisconsin residents need to be prepared for potential water damage that can occur.
2019 was the wettest year on record for Wisconsin with more than 43 inches of rain and snow. 2020 is predicted to rival that due to already elevated water levels and wet soils, according to the National Weather Service.
Last year, flooding caused millions in damage to Wisconsin homes, which is why planning ahead is so important. Here are four ways to protect yourself from water damage that can occur.
Take Preventative Steps
There are some simple and cost-effective fixes that can protect your home. Seal up cracks in your foundation with application of mortar or masonry caulk to fill in gaps completely. Coatings or sealants, purchased at any home retailer or hardware store, can also be applied to walls, windows, doors and foundation.
Sump pumps are strongly recommended to prevent water damage by pumping water outside. Battery-operated units will also add another level of protection in case of a power outage. But remember to always keep it charged and ready to go.
Those who experience frequent accumulation of water may also want to consider installing a water sensor – offered by many home security systems. These sensors can detect leaks before they cause significant damage and potentially save you thousands of dollars in repairs.
Before the rain hits the pavement, develop a family preparedness plan in case of flooding. Have an evacuation plan, put an emergency kit together and remember to keep or move valuable or sentimental items to a higher floor away from potential risk.
Review your existing insurance policy to ensure appropriate levels of coverage. Even though flooding is one of the most common natural disasters to occur in the US, only 15% of homeowners have insurance to protect against water damage.
Check Outside Your Home
Check your lawn to make sure grading or sloping directs away from your home instead of towards it. This can be monitored by watching how water accumulates during an average rainstorm. If you see pooling or standing water, it’s time to consult with a landscaper or contractor about regrading or drainage solutions. You can also contact your county planning department if your street is prone to standing water issues to see if they can offer suggestions.
Safeguard Electrical Systems
Make sure that your sockets, switches and circuit breakers are at least one foot above any expected water level to reduce the risk of damage, according to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. Elevate major appliances onto concrete blocks if they are in any danger. If you are in a situation where water is rising in your basement, immediately shut off electricity at the breaker panel.
Preparing as early as possible for potential water damage won’t stop the rain but it will add peace of mind and these days, that counts for a lot.
Contact your local Rural Mutual Insurance agent to make sure you’re properly covered for wet weather.
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