Are you covered? The two policies designed to protect you from home water damage losses—homeowners and flood insurance—are complementary. Homeowners policies cover damage from a sudden accidental water event like a burst pipe or wind-driven rain. Damage caused by poor home maintenance such as overfilled gutters, lack of roof upkeep, ignored leaks, or condensation buildup from inadequate ventilation are usually not covered. That’s why it is so critical for homeowners to keep up with simple, regular inspections and make needed repairs.
1. Check for broken or missing shingles on the roof but also look for signs of buckling, curling or blistering. Most of the time, standing on the ground with a good pair of binoculars will tell you everything you need to know.
2. Gutters and downspouts need to be free of debris and in good condition. Make sure all downspouts empty at least 10 feet away from the house foundation.
3. Look for water stains at the bottom side of the roof sheathing as well as roof rafters and truss. Check the attic for holes, air leaks or bypasses from the house and ensure the integrity of any insulation.
4. Inspect “flashing” for cracked calk or rust spots. Flashing is the metal strips that seal out water and moisture along the edges of doors, windows, thresholds, roofs and chimneys.
5. Expansion joints between bricks, pipes and other solid building materials can develop cracks that eventually turn into water/moisture leaks. Catch them early and repair.
6. Examine any places where piping or wiring extends through outside walls and seal any cracks and holes in external walls, joints and foundations.
7. Keep exterior walls well-painted and sealed; inspect wood-sided walls and replace any wood siding/sheathing that appears to have water damage.
8. Make sure that irrigation and watering heads do not spray water directly on the house and avoid any build-up of water near the foundation.
9. Avoid landscape features that mound soil or bedding material against the home’s exterior walls and never pile organic material like compost or dead leaves against outside walls.
10. Never landscape with vines or plants that climb against exterior walls; over time they encourage the formation of cracks in siding.
11. Keep trees near the home trimmed to at least seven feet from any exterior surface including the roof.
Even homeowners who are faithful to home maintenance and inspections can find themselves suddenly faced with home water damage. Olympus Insurance customers have the ultimate advantage: 24-hour emergency assistance—365 days a year. Through a partnership with water damage experts Rytech, Olympus customers have the unbelievable guarantee of a 15-minute response time. Call the Olympus claims team at 866-281-2242 or Rytech’s emergency line at 800-865-8787.