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Avoiding Water Backup

  • Water Backup

    What Causes Water Backup?

    Water backup occurs when the water around the foundation of your home exceeds the capacity of removal systems to drain it. It can occur from surface water seeping into foundation walls or sewer systems overflowing up through drains in the basement.

    Preventing Water Backup

    • Maintain gutters and downspouts, keeping them free of debris and leaves and repairing them if they are sagging
    • Inspect your gutters' capacity - after fifteen minutes of heavy rain, if water overflows the gutters, install additional downspouts
    • Extend downspouts at least ten feet away from the house
    • Adjust landscaping and irrigation so that water flows away from the foundation
    • Drain subsurface groundwater and storm water with a sump pump system that has battery backup and replacement warnings
    • Run your sump pump every few months and clean it annually before the rainy season
    • Prevent backflow of sanitary sewer water by installing backflow valves and standpipes at all basement drain locations, including sinks and toilets
    • Prepare your basement "just in case" by raising your washer, dryer, water heater, oil tank, furnace, all electrical wiring and personal items above typical water backup levels
    Recovering From Water Backup

    • Remove standing water to prevent structural damage
    • Dry all wet carpets, rugs and personal belongings to prevent mold growth
    • Sanitize all areas and materials in contact with sewer water
    • Consult with a licensed building professional who can determine the extent of repairs if necessary
  • In the event of a loss, contact your local Liberty Mutual claims office, or call 1-800-2CLAIMS (1-800-225-2467) and a representative will assist you.
  • Note: Homeowners policies and coverages vary by state. A Liberty Mutual representative will gladly explain the coverages provided by your policy.