NJ Homeowners Insurance and Important Flood Tips
While a NJ homeowners insurance policy will not cover flooding (this requires a separate policy for flood protection), homeowners still need to take measures to prevent basements from flooding and have a plan in place when such a situation arises. Many people spend thousands of dollars converting their basements into a comfortable living space, and the last thing they need is a tidal pool of ground water (or sewage) ruining their new home office or children’s playroom.
Here are a few flood prevention steps to protect the house when flooding does occur as well as an emergency plan to provide for the safety of everyone living there until things get back to normal.
An ounce of prevention
Clean the rain gutters in the spring since they are likely full of leaves that had come down in the fall. Blocked gutters can often cause basement flooding. Extend the rain gutter downspouts well out and away from the house. To avoid having the roof water further saturate the ground and cause flooding do not connect the downspouts to the foundation footer drain tiles or to underground dry wells.
Inspect the yard during heavy rainfall
Walk around the yard during a heavy rainstorm to see if water is being collected in small ponds next to the house. If this is the case, it’s a good idea to contact a local landscaper for advice on ways to regrade the yard so that the surface water is directed away from the home.
A back-up power source is essential
Install an automatic emergency generator to provide electrical service for essential circuits, like the home’s furnace or electric heating system, a well pump, refrigerator, and septic tank pump during a power loss. Without emergency backup power, the likelihood of basement flooding, frozen water pipes, or a flooded septic tank increase severely.
Install a sump pump
An automatic sump pump will help keep water leakage from building up in the basement. A sump pump tank with an opening in the lid will act like a huge floor drain and keep the water from getting very deep.
Make an emergency family plan
Plan ahead so that everyone has important contact numbers and keep in mind that neighbors will probably need housing too, so try to arrange ahead of time to have temporary housing since hotels in the area may fill up fast. Purchase flood insurance and always carry NJ homeowners insurance for those issues that can be solved with the right policy in place.