All this snow on the ground has to go somewhere. It will melt (hopefully!) and this water will seep in to the ground. Normally when snow melts the ground does not have a difficult time absorbing it, since it usually does so over a period of time. However, with the feet of snow we have outside there may be issues of the groundwater level rising and flooding into your basement. If you have only lived in your house for a short period of time and do not know if the water table is an issue in your neighborhood, contact the town.
Now is the time to check your basement and do some preventative work. Seal all of the cracks in the foundation floor and walls. Using polyurethane masonry caulk to fix the cracks, should be sufficient. If the cracks are larger than 1/4 inch use hydraulic cement, since it expands as it dries. Also address the windows in the basement and make sure they are properly sealed, as water cold leak through these also. After sealing all the cracks make sure you do not have any items that could be destroyed by water located on the basement floor. Good solutions for storing items in your basement: buy large durable shelving units, buy large plastic storage bins. Keep all goods in waterproof containers. Do not keep rugs, paper supplies or mattresses in the basement, as they will need to be thrown out if flooding occurs. If your house is known to flood, it would be a good idea to have a sump pump installed.
If your basement floods this spring, first do not walk through the water without making sure all the electricity to the area is shut off. When you have properly assessed the area, start getting the water out! A submergible surface pump can be used to get the water out and then use a wet vac to clean up the remaining water.
A homeowners policy does not cover flood damage, which is why it is in your best interest to try and prevent flooding. If you are in a flood zone or are prone to flooding, you may want to look into flood insurance. This is a separate policy you will have to buy. There is a 30 day waiting period for flood insurance to become active, so don’t try to get a policy right before a big storm or predicted heavy snow melting. There is an endorsement for your homeowners policy if you have a sump pump already installed at your house. This endorsement provides coverage for loss to property as a result of water which backs up or overflows from a sump pump.
Call us to find out more information on flood insurance or the Water Back-Up And Sump Pump Overflow Endorsement. www.mancuso-nowak.com.