Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover flood damage – federal flood insurance does. Flood insurance also covers damage from mud flow, dirt and debris resulting from moving water.
A homeowners insurance policy provides coverage for many types of water damage including damage from broken pipes, heavy rains and storms, but it usually does not provide coverage for damage from flood.
Flood insurance is available in all 50 states, as long as your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program and your home is not in a Coastal Barrier Resource System Area.
Don’t wait for an imminent flood to obtain flood insurance. Most flood policies have a 30-day waiting period before coverage begins.
You don’t need to live by water to be at risk. Anywhere it rains, it can flood. Over 20% of all flood claims occur in low- to moderate-risk areas.
A home in a high-risk flood area has a 26% chance of being damaged by flood during the course of a 30-year mortgage. That same home only has a 9% chance of a fire.
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When it is too late to insulate, try these 5 tricks to avoid frozen pipes:
1. Use the hair dryer. Freezing pipes can be warmed by moving a hair dryer across the pipe, but be careful to not hold the nozzle in one place
2. Open your closet. Some water pipes may be located in the wall behind a closet. By opening the door and taking things out of the closet, you allow heat from the living areas to penetrate the wall and reach the pipes.
3. Open cabinet doors. This lets warm air circulate to the water lines under the faucet.
4. Shut off the water. If there is no heat due to a power outage, shut off the supply line. If you’re traveling during the winter, even for a day or two, shut off the main.
5. Run the water. Periodically run the faucet and flush the toilets, as this moves standing water in both the inbound and outbound pipes. Don’t forget you may need to get up and do this in the middle of the night as well. And because moving water is less likely to freeze, you can let the water run just a trickle at all times.
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Is your gutter system working how it should? Watch for a few things you should check to avoid flooding and costly repairs.
Inspect all of the gutters around your house to make sure that they’re free of leaves or any other debris that may obstruct the flow of rainwater.
Check your downspouts to make sure they’re long enough to carry the water away from your house. If water is pooling around your foundation after a heavy rain, longer downspouts may be necessary.
If your gutters feed to underground drainage systems, check the drain grates to make sure they’re not clogged.
Check all connections between gutter sections and downspouts to make sure that nothing has become disconnected.
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Flood Fact: You don’t have to live in a flood plain to need Flood insurance. Anywhere it can rain, it can flood.
Flood Fact: New developments can be at an increased risk for flooding, especially if the construction changed natural runoff paths.
Flood Fact: Hurricanes, winter storms and snowmelt are common causes of flooding, but are often overlooked.
Flood Fact: In most cases, Flood insurance policies have a 30-day waiting period. Don’t put it off until it’s too late!
Flood Fact: Flood policies aren’t just for homes – they’re available for apartments, condos and businesses.
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Thinking about finishing your basement? It’s a great way to add some extra square footage and increase your home’s value. But, basements are often prone to flooding. Consider these five water prevention tips before getting started.
Basement flood prevention tip 1: Inspect the grading of the land around your house. The land should slope away from the home
Basement flood prevention tip 2: Make sure all downspouts are connected and free of obstructions. They should extend several feet from your foundation.
Basement flood prevention tip 3: Check your basement walls for any cracking or stains from previous water damage, which could be warning signs of flooding in the future.
Basement flood prevention tip 4: Clear all underground drains and grates of any obstructions and make sure they’re functioning properly.
Basement flood prevention tip 5: Check your water softener, water heater and other utility equipment in the basement to ensure there are no leaks.
National Flood Safety Awareness week is March 14-18. Here is a list of five items you should have on-hand to keep you and your family safe and minimize damage to your property in the event of a flood.
Flood Safety Item 1: Keep a battery-operated radio in your home so you can listen to any flood alert broadcasts. Be sure to keep plenty of batteries on-hand.
Flood Safety Item 2: Have a battery-backup sump pump installed and check it regularly for proper operation.
Flood Safety Item 3: Keep bottled water in your home. Public water sources and wells often become contaminated during a flood and clean drinking water can become scarce.
Flood Safety Item 4: Keep a supply of canned food in your home. During a flood, you and your family may not be able to leave your house for several days. Plan ahead by having plenty of non-perishable food on-hand.
Flood Safety Item 5: Keep several flashlights with extra batteries in your home in case your power goes out.
Excessive moisture can lead to problems such as water stains, warped woodwork, mildew and peeling paint. Follow these five tips to help control moisture in your home.
Moisture Control Tip 1: Run a dehumidifier to reduce the moisture and humidity in your home.
Moisture Control Tip 2: Open windows and air out your home on low humidity days.
Moisture Control Tip 3: Keep air circulating with ceiling fans, room fans or the furnace fan, and make sure air registers are free of obstructions. Cover pots when cooking and operate vent fans when cooking and bathing.
Moisture Control Tip 4: Set out a pan of cat litter or charcoal when you’re away to absorb moisture.
Moisture Control Tip 5: Don’t pile up wet towels or clothes. If you do see mildew growing in your home, brush the object to remove surface mildew and vacuum to remove loose mold. Sponge or wash remaining mildew with detergent and dry thoroughly.