Basement flooding: How to avoid standing in knee-deep in water

(NC) Flooding and water damage are things no homeowner ever wants to deal with. But depending on where you live, your home may be prone to flooding.

If you’re buying a home, make sure that you’re aware of any flooding issues in the area and find out if there are prevention tools already in place to avoid flooding.

It’s also critical that homeowners understand that overland flooding, such as water swells from nearby rivers or lakes and water seepage through your foundation, are not covered under standard home insurance policies.

Along with the short-term mess and annoyance, floods can lead to other problems like respiratory issues, long-term damage not covered by insurance, and a decrease in property value.

“Basement flooding is a serious issue that needs to be approached in a proactive manner,” explains Glenn Cooper of Aviva Insurance. “Even a small crack or leak, if not addressed immediately, can lead to serious issues.”

Understanding the signs and being proactive about taking care of your home will help reduce your risk. Check out these tips:

  1. Get a plumber to inspect your home once a year for potential issues that could lead to flooding. The inspection can help you find issues that could lead to a flood, including cracks in the foundation walls, poor drainage, and overflowing or clogged eaves troughs and downspouts.
  2. Clean your eaves troughs on a regular basis.
  3. Refrain from pouring harmful liquids down your drains.
  4. Have a back-water valve installed to prevent sewer back-up..
  5. Have a sump-pump with battery back-up in case of power outage and make sure to inspect it regularly to ensure it’s working correctly.
  6. Ensure landscaping slopes away from the house.

Find more information through your insurance broker or online at

Spring forward into a safer home

(NC) It is synonymous with responsible home safety: When you change your clocks every spring and fall, you’re reminded to also change the batteries in all your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. But as catchy as the old “change clocks-change batteries” phrase is, many homeowners do not heed the advice. Non-working alarms are cited in most fatal house fires.
Fortunately, emerging technology may be starting to help.
“To help homeowners keep alarms powered always, we introduced worry-free alarm models with a sealed battery that lasts 10 years from installation,” says Carol Heller of Kidde, Canada’s #1 alarm company. “That means there’s no need to replace the battery during the alarm’s entire lifespan. More than a convenience, this saves money too.”
You can also say goodbye to those low-battery chirps that always seem to happen in the middle of the night.
Alarm lifespan is another challenge facing fire safety officials.
“It’s very important to recognize that alarms do not last forever,” Heller adds. “Over time, sensors can be affected by pet hair, cooking smoke and dust. So as is recommended by the National Fire Protection Association, all smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years, even if they are hardwired.”
During the time change, check your alarm’s age before installing a fresh battery so you don’t unknowingly power up an outdated system.
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