With the warmer weather set to move into the region next week, homeowners will want to make sure they are prepared for the inevitable snowmelt and all that comes with it.

Tyler McMurchy, Media Relations Manager for SGI, said it is very important to manage the snow around your house as it melts to prevent water damage to your basement or home. 

"Keeping that snow away from your foundation, making sure your property's grading allows for that water to run off and away from your home," McMurchy said. "That's one of the best ways to protect your home as the snow melts." He added it's also a good idea to make sure you have functional water management systems such as eavestroughs, downspouts, sump pumps, and a backwater valve.

McMurchy said anyone unsure what damages can be covered by their insurance plan should contact their insurance provider to find out. 

"The average cost of a sewer backup claim is more than $20,000," McMurchy said. "We've seen costs increase over the years as more homeowners are making larger investments in finished basements. So another great reason to make sure you have that optional sewer backup coverage, it's not necessarily included automatically in your home claim so always a good idea to talk to your insurance broker about the kind of coverage you have and the kind of coverage you need." 

If you do receive any water damage on your property this year, McMurchy said the first thing you will want to do is contact your insurance broker.

"While you're waiting to see an adjuster take steps to protect your property from further damage or loss if it is safe to do so," McMurchy said. "Clean up as soon as possible, seek professional advice on how to clean up, don't throw things out but store those damaged items in a safe place so the adjuster can see them and have any appliances, including furnaces, that have come into contact with water checked by a qualified electrician."

Lastly, he added you should keep track of any cleaning expenses as they can be considered to be a part of the insurance claim.

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