Basement leaks are no fun to deal with. However, with the right insurance policy in place, you might not have to take on the financial burden of repairs alone. While different insurance companies have different policies, most will be able to protect you from some degree of water damage, should your basement start to leak.
What leak symptoms, though, should you be on the lookout for, and how can you be certain that your insurance company will protect you?
The Causes Behind Basement Leaks
Contrary to popular belief, most basements don’t start leaking after one rainstorm or one natural disaster. While it’s true that severe flooding can weaken your basement, it’s more often several small events that cause the perimeter of your home to fracture.
Why is this the case? You can blame it all on hydrostatic pressure. This kind of pressure builds up when water comes into contact with your basement’s support structures. As the water gathers, the molecules in your support structures will expand and contract in response to the sudden change in temperature the water brings on. Those expansions and contractions can eventually cause your support structures to crack. This means that water will have an easier time getting into your home and that more cracks – not to mention leaks – may be on the way.
That said, there are other reasons your basement may begin to leak. These include:
- Unstable foundation
- Poor grading
- Leaking pipes
- Clogged drains
What Basement Leaks Will Home Insurance Cover?
Homeowner’s insurance is a boon when it comes to the leaks that appear in your basement. While your policy might not cover every type of leak, there are several that insurance providers consider claim-worthy.
Some of the leaks you’ll likely be able to file a claim over include:
- Leaking water heaters
- Broken or burst pipes
- Piping problems
- Large appliance malfunctions
Ready for even more good news? Most insurance providers recommend that you work with the company that sold you an appliance if said appliance caused your leak and is within its warranty. If the appliance in question is no longer within its warranty, however, you can talk to your insurance company’s representative to secure a replacement and to have your home repairs covered by your policy.
What Leaks Won’t Home Insurance Cover?
Unfortunately, your insurance company is less likely to cover water damage that’s been caused by a natural event. While coverage will differ from person to person, it’s unlikely that companies will honor your claim if you have any of the following:
- Environmental Leaks – Cincinnati, OH, doesn’t see too many natural disasters, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be flooding in your area. Unfortunately, until you have disaster coverage, it’s unlikely that your provider will be able to offer you the funds you need for severe flooding repairs, as this will be an unpredictable natural event and therefore not within the boundaries of many existing policies.
- Weather-Related Leaks – On a similar note, most home insurance providers won’t be able to help you pay for repairs if you can trace your leaks back to Cincinnati’s weather patterns. You’re more likely, unfortunately, to see weather-related leaks in the late winter and early spring, which is all the more reason you may want to consider having a basement repair budget in place.
- Seepage – Seepage is slightly different from a leak, but that doesn’t mean it can’t wreak havoc on your basement. What is seepage, though? Consider this: when it doesn’t rain in your area for a significant amount of time, the soil molecules around your home start to shrink. When it does finally rain again, these molecules won’t be able to absorb as much water as they normally would. As a result, even the sturdiest of homes may fall victim to seepage. As you can see, though, this is a highly-specific event that cannot be predicted, making it nearly impossible to cover.
Even though there are some types of damage your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover, you should always talk to a professional operating in your area if you’re dealing with water damage. The faster you act, the more money you’ll save on basement waterproofing repairs, and the sooner you’ll be able to take back your home.
Get in touch with a professional basement repair contractor ASAP for a free inspection and repair quote on potential services.