Could the rain be breaking your house?
Tue, 20 Aug 2013 22:21:02 GMT —
The rainfall this year is not only coming close to breaking records-it could also be coming close to breaking your home.
"Well what happens when soil gets wet, particularly in an area like this, where you've got clay-type soils, is they get wet and they get saturated with the rain that they start to lose their load-bearing capacity and then your foundation can settle as a result of that." explans Roger Britton, a structural consultant for Mount Valley Foundation Services.
Or in other words, the clay gets so wet that it turns almost to a mud and has a hard time supporting your house, allowing your home to almost sink into the soft clay. So if you're worried about this type of damage happening to your house, there are some signs you can be on the look out for which will tell you whether there is any settling occuring.
"Well the things to look for would be of course cracks in the brick around your house and if you start to get separations in the mortar or breaks in the brick. If the walls start pulling away from windows. You can even get breaks and cracks on the sheetrock on the inside of the house. If this gets bad enough, you will even see that the floors may become unleveled." says Britton.
And you don't have to just sit and wait for the damage to happen to you. There are some preventative steps you can take to try and protect your home during all of this rain.
"Well one good thing to do is make sure you've got a good grade so that water does not pond up next to your house and it flows away. If you don't have gutters, it may be good to have those gutters. And that the downspouts are attached to extensions to get that water away from the foundation line of the house." Britton states.
So if you do take a look around your home and you notice there is some damage due to all the rain and moisture we've been having, and your first thought is to call your insurance agent, you might want to think again. Turns out your homeowner's insurance covers little to nothing if the damage is due to any kind of rain or flooding
"The biggest thing i would like to share is that with homeowner's policies, they do not cover ground water. If you have a loss from surface water or ground water, that is not covered by homeowner's insurance policies." says Roe Young, an insurance agent for State Farm.
So what do you do if all this rain water damages your house?
"In order to have coverage for that type of a loss, one would have to have flood insurance through the federal program and that would be the only way to get coverage for that type of loss." concludes Young.