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Will your insurance cover a basement flood?

April 7th, 2011 by The Waterproofer

If you experience a flooded basement your insurance may not cover the damage. If your basement is finished the damage can run into the tens of thousands, take months to repair and if the flooding is a result of failed waterproofing it more than likely it will not be covered under your homeowner’s policy.

Most home owners assume that the damage will be covered only to find out that their policy will only cover flood damage if it is a result of the sewers backing up into their basements. Basement waterproofing is considered a maintenance item much the same as your roof. Unlike a roof, basement waterproofing is not readily visible. Most home inspections do not focus on the foundation and the condition of the waterproofing.

We had a call from a customer today with water penetrating his basement wall. The water had soaked the drywall and carpet. The home owner had removed a piece of drywall and was horrified to find the back of the drywall and the studs covered with mold. He had called his insurance company and was shocked to find out that this type of damage was not covered.

If your basement has leaked in the past you can be assured that it will leak again. Cracks and holes in the foundation where the waterproofing has failed will get bigger with every freeze thaw cycle

If you suspect that your basement may be at risk for waterproofing failure we would be happy to give you a free inspection and recommendation. Unlike a tradition home inspection we look for water migration through your basement walls and foundation. We use a series of specialized tools to detect waterproofing problems including infrared cameras, moisture meters, and scope cameras. We can also recommend a series of recommendations that can improve your homes resistance to water.

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This Time of Year is Problematic for Basement Leaks

March 25th, 2011 by The Waterproofer

Boy it’s been wet over the past couple of weeks! Rain at this time of year of especially problematic for homeowners with leaks or cracks in their basement foundations because the ground is still frozen and just cannot absorb the rain. So even those conscientious homeowners who have done all the things you’re supposed to do to keep water away from your foundation – making sure their eaves troughs are clean and their downspouts carry water away from the house, cleaning out their window wells, grading soil so water runs away from their house – even those people are calling with leaky basements. Water naturally finds it way to the lowest point, so if you have a crack in your foundation, that water will find a way in.

We’ve also received more than our share of emergency calls, particularly during the heavy rains just before March Break. I often feel bad for the people who call us when their basement leaks have gotten to the point where the water is just running straight into their houses, because most of them knew beforehand that they had a problem, and just didn’t want to address it. We understand – there are a lot of things that are more fun to spend your money on than waterproofing. But when you consider how much it can cost you to ignore a leaking basement…well, think of waterproofing like insurance – no-one really loves paying the premiums, but boy are they grateful to have it when they need it!

One homeowner, who had known she had a leak in her basement but had put off fixing it, had water literally gushing into her basement! She called us about 7:00 one evening, and the situation turned out to be so bad that we had to set up not one but two pumps simultaneously just to help her sump pump keep up, and we were there until 3:00 a.m.! But we saved her basement. If she hadn’t called us, her basement would have been under three inches of water by morning, and the damage to her basement walls, carpets and furniture would have easily exceeded $60,000. And remember, damage due to flooding from rain is not covered by insurance. The only “insurance” you can buy for that is to waterproof your basement.

Something to think about if you have a small leak and you keep thinking you’ll get around to waterproofing…later.

While you’re waiting for “later”, why not go down to your basement today and check for signs of moisture.  Check behind your appliances for any signs of rust, lift a bit of carpet (especially in a corner, where water often finds it way in), feel the walls for any dampness and smell the air for any mustiness.  It’ll only take a few minutes of your time, and it might just lead to something that can save you a whole lot of money next time it rains.


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