Dealing with a Flooded Basement in Your Home
A flooded basement is the most occurring home-based mishap. Being under the street level always puts the basement at a higher risk of flooding than the rest of the house, or even the rest of the road. Also, being a natural storage area for the entire household, it tends to cause the most economical damage to the home, potentially. That’s why dealing with a flooded basement
right away is important to minimize the damage.
The significance of the basement in a house, and because of its high-risk nature, certain clauses are governing the dealing with a flooded basement in the National Flood Insurance Policy. As a homeowner, you also need to take personal precautions to protect your home and your investments in the case of a flooded basement.
Home sewage drainage pipes always terminate at the cellar. So not only basements are prone to naturally caused floods, but they can also be the first to get damaged in the case of inadequate drainage systems. Always check your plumbing and install a water pump in the basement, on standby, just in case your basement gets flooded and you need to drain water out of your flooded basement.
It is entirely understandable that basements serve as a storage area for the entire house. However, this does not mean that it should be neglected, and boxes can be thrown in randomly since no one sees them anyway! Assume the worst. You have a flooded basement, and you can’t get to it because you’re not sure whether the water is electrified or not. After all, you do keep your washer, dryer, and the extra freezer down there. That’s why you need to always elevate all electric appliances and install them on insulated blocks. If you must have your circuit board and juncture box down in the basement, you must at least have a duplicate circuit breaker at a higher level in case you can’t get to downstairs to your flooded basement.
If you decide to store valuables in the cellar, make sure they’re wrapped properly and are elevated at least a few inches above the activation level of the draining pump. Some of these items may not be covered by the flood insurance you’ve purchased. You must check with your agent to make sure what your policy covers and what it doesn’t. The national flood insurance covers the structural elements and essential equipment which can be found in a basement, such as central air conditioning units, furnaces, heat pumps, unfinished drywalls, ceilings, circuit distributors and boxes, and basic tools found typically in a basement.
The flood insurance does not cover, however, the remodeling of the basement such as finished walls and fixtures. It doesn’t include stored items, such as furniture, suitcases, appliances (other than what’s mentioned in the coverage clause), and other personal belonging. That’s to say if you decide to turn your basement into a studio, or into a small apartment, you need to discuss the coverage against flood with your insurance agent as this is deemed not to be a regular basement and is not covered under the flooded basement policy.
It is no wonder in high-risk zones, that building codes will not permit you to build a basement under your home. This is an acknowledgment that a dealing with a flooded basement is a costly disaster, not to its owner, but also the insurance company.