Protecting homes as the snow melts

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The snow has caused many problems this winter but as it starts to warm up around the U.P., there's another issue it can cause: flooding.

"With the amount of snow we got this year, people do need to be aware of that when we do get the big thaw coming this spring, that they should be looking and keeping an eye on their basements, their crawl spaces, things like that to make sure they're not getting any water in there and causing water damage in their home," says Swick Home Services President, Rick Gilles.

While water damage may seem inevitable due to the amount of snow on the ground, Gilles says there are ways to protect your home.

"Make sure that if you do have a sump pump that the sump pump is working properly. There are even options out there where they make battery-operated sump pumps, so if you do have a power failure, you still have a sump pump and your basement cannot flood. Other things that are available to you are water alarms. There's little sensors you can put on the floor anywhere near a washing machine or wet areas, or in this case, maybe your basement or crawl space," says Gilles.

Another thing you may be able to do is get flood insurance for your home. There are a lot of misconceptions about flood insurance and it is not available to everyone, so it is best to consult your insurance agent with any questions.

"The biggest one being that it is covered on a home policy. So, flood insurance, or flood, is NOT covered on a home policy. But there are two other options for that," says Kate Houtz, an insurance agent with The Elder Agency in Marquette.

Those two options are a private policy through private insurance, or a policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Insurance agent Shelly Malay says there are also other ways to reduce flood damage.

"Place all your electronics, small mobile devices, in an elevated area. Maybe any furniture you have, keep that on higher levels in your home rather than in your basement," says Malay, an insurance agent with The Elder Agency in Marquette.

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