As we put the cold winter months behind us, St. Louis is slowly blossoming into spring! Spring brings all sorts of beautiful things — warm weather, longer days of sunlight, flowers — but accompanying the warm weather, sunlight, and flowers are also scattered showers and severe thunderstorms. Now is the best time to start preparing and protecting your home from flooding. Inspect Your Home First, you’ll want to inspect your home to see if there is any damage that may have been caused by snow, ice, and the harsh winter months. Inspect your roof for any leaks, warped or missing shingles, and broken skylight seals. Clean your gutters to remove any storm debris or fallen leaves that collected over the winter months. Repair your gutters if they are leaking and check to make sure they are secured to your home. Look for leaks in your attic, crawl space, and basement. Patch cracks that have occurred in your driveway, sidewalk, or steps to keep water out and to prevent further damage. Check your home’s grading to ensure your yard slopes away from your foundation in order to keep excess moisture away. (”Grading” refers to the slope of ground around your house – ground that leans toward your house will guide rainwater to your home, while sloping away from your house will help keep water away. Via US Inspect) Sump Pump Inspection A sump pump is an essential tool in areas where flooding is common. It’s used to remove water that has accumulated in a water-collecting basin, commonly found in the basement of most homes. To confirm your sump pump is in proper working condition, check out our Sump Pump Repair and Maintenance blog. It will walk you through how to locate your sump pump and how to check that it’s working properly. Prepare for the Worst No one wants to imagine water gushing into their home, but there is the possibility that it could happen. In the unfortunate event that it does happen, you want to be prepared. A great piece of equipment to invest in is a water pumping vacuum, such as a Shop Vac®. After contacting your preferred water mitigation company, you can begin to remove excess water using this type of vacuum while you wait for the professionals. It’s also not a bad idea to keep a pair of waders and knee high boots on your main or upper floor. In the unfortunate event that your home is flooded, you never know what kind of contaminates or chemical hazards the water might contain, so you want to be sure to protect your skin. Insurance We recommend reviewing your insurance plan annually to refresh yourself on what your plan includes. You don’t want to be caught in a situation where you think you’re covered and don’t actually have proper coverage. When it comes to water damage in your home, the vast majority of insurance plans will cover water damage such as a burst pipe or appliance overflow, but not necessarily water damage caused by flooding, depending on where the water came from. Flood insurance is almost always additional coverage you must ask for, along with sewer backup being optional coverage. To learn more about what your insurance plan covers or doesn’t cover, check out our blog post Natural Disasters: Are You Covered?