April Showers Bring Flooded Homes And Basements

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Following Simple Tips can save Homeowners Headaches and Big Money

The onset of heavy spring rain can quickly flood homes and basements. Roto-Rooter, North America's largest provider of plumbing and drain cleaning services, regularly comes to the rescue of frantic homeowners battling rising floodwaters. During spring, rain accumulates quickly and it often doesn't absorb into the ground. This runoff may cause heavy flooding that can damage your home and possessions. According to leading insurance companies, the typical cost of repairing household water damage caused by flooding is about $5000 but costs can exceed tens of thousands depending on the home. Insurance companies have limited their flood coverage in recent years, so homeowners are often paying more out of pocket to cover water damage. Although you cannot always predict when it will rain, you can better prepare your home by following these simple tips.

Inspect foundation and / or basement walls for cracks. Watermarks near cracks could be a sign of recent leaks and future risk. Use concrete patch to repair these cracks or consult an expert. Inspect basement sump pump. Ensure it is discharging water properly and is not clogged with debris. Do this by pouring a few buckets of water into your sump pit. In a matter of seconds, the pump should discharge the water and shut itself off. If your pump runs continuously and won't shut off, there is a problem. Call a plumber before the pump burns itself out and becomes ineffective. If your sump pump operates frequently, consider installing a battery back-up sump pump that will operate in the event of a power failure. If you don't have a sump pump in your basement you should consider installing one. Purchase an inexpensive battery-operated flood alarm and place it in the basement near the sump pump or in other flood prone areas, including the laundry room and next to the water heater, doorways, etc. If water is present, the alarm will sound allowing you time to act sooner. Simple flood alarms cost less than $15 but they can save homeowners thousands of dollars. Alarms can be purchased from Roto-Rooter locations or the web site. Similar models are available at home centers. Protect valuables by moving them from the floor to high shelves or upstairs areas. Outside, be sure to clean out the downspouts and roof gutters, making sure they're open, free of debris and able to quickly channel water away from your home. Check yard drainage and culverts and clear any obstructions such as ice, leaves and debris to ensure the free flow of runoff water. The same applies to street drains in front of your home. If you have basement appliances such as a washer, dryer or space heater and you think you may experience flooding, disconnect the power source. However, if the appliance is submerged or the water level is above that of the outlet, don't go into the basement and risk electrocution. To prevent accidental interior flooding, inspect washing machine, dishwasher and refrigerator icemaker hoses. If they're more than ten years old, they should be replaced. Consider replacing rubber hoses with stronger steel braided hoses. 30% of household flooding cases are caused by appliance failure! Periodically pour a gallon of water into floor drains in garages, bathrooms, basements and patios. If they're not draining quickly, use a line snake or contact a plumber to clear debris from the lines. Roto-Rooter was established in 1935 and today is the largest provider of plumbing and drain cleaning services in the United States and Canada. Roto-Rooter operates businesses in more than 100 company-owned territories and approximately 500 franchise territories, serving 90 percent of the U.S. population and 41% of the Canadian population. For more information about Roto-Rooter please visit us at www.rotorooter.com.

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300 Ashworth Rd.
West Des Moines, IA

Phone: (515)223-1343
Fax: (515)223-6109

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