Summers in the midwest are delightful. For many, it’s hands-down the greatest time of the year! As beautiful as the sunny days and crisp evenings are, though, the season can also be dangerous.
Let’s take a look at the most common risks of home damage during the summer. Learn how to prevent them and keep your family safe!
Risk #1: Water Damage
There are several causes of water damage during Midwest summers:
- Most commonly, severe storms lead to flooding. This is especially dangerous in low-lying areas.
- Clogged gutters can prevent even light rain showers from properly draining off of your roof.
- Structural problems and damage to your home’s siding or shingles can create cracks that let in outside moisture.
A small leak might not seem like that big of a deal — but even just a few inches of water can cost thousands of dollars in restoration and repairs. In fact, the average water damage insurance claim is nearly $7,000!
How can you prevent water damage?
Thankfully, you can prevent most water damage by being proactive. Here are a few tips:
- Regularly clean out your gutters at least twice a year.
- Routinely check your roof for missing or damaged shingles.
- Keep your sump pump in good working condition, especially if you know a storm is on the way.
Do you have insurance coverage for water damage?
While you probably have protection for appliance malfunctions and internal leaks, many families are surprised to learn that most standard homeowners insurance policies do not cover flood damage.
The good news is that it’s simple to add flood or water back up protection! You can buy this coverage back in five-thousand-dollar increments for a relatively inexpensive monthly premium. Our agents are happy to help you get started.
Note that it typically takes at least 30 days for a new flood insurance policy to go into effect. If you aren’t sure whether or not you have the protection you need, now’s the time to look into it!
Risk #2: Storm Damage
Here in Wisconsin, we’re not strangers to the Midwest’s wide range of severe storms:
- High winds
- Flying debris
- And more
Each year, we generally experience a minimum of 25 days of severe weather. That’s almost an entire month! With heightened heat and humidity, it’s no surprise that many of those days fall during the summer months.
How can you prevent storm damage?
Severe storms can be unpredictable — but you can still take steps to keep your family and belongings safe.
- Stay on top of the weather forecast. Turn on emergency notifications from a source you trust, like your local news station or The Weather Channel.
- Regularly check for home repairs. Don’t allow your roof, siding, or other protective elements to become worn down. If you notice any burgeoning issues, get in touch with a restoration company right away!
- Keep your trees in good condition. Remove any weak branches, especially if they’re near your home’s windows.
- If you have time to prepare before a storm hits, gather up any loose property in your yard and store it indoors. This can prevent lawn ornaments from becoming flying debris and causing additional damage.
Do you have insurance coverage for storm damage?
Good news: Most homeowners insurance policies do cover storm damage! If you have some standard protection, you should be set — but you can always call your agent to make sure.
The exception is if storm damage is the result of what your insurance company considers negligence. One example of this would be if you fail to remove a dying tree from your property and its weakened trunk falls over onto your roof during high winds. Another reason to make sure you keep your property in good condition!
Risk #3: Mold Damage
Mold thrives in warm, humid conditions. That means Midwest summers are a dream come true for the damaging spores.
A little mold here and there might not seem like cause for great concern, but it can grow exponentially once it infiltrates your home. After it spreads, taking care of it becomes a big job — proper mold remediation can cost up to $30,000!
How can you prevent mold damage?
Thankfully, preventing mold damage is simple if you know what to look for. Here are a few things to focus on:
- Carefully control your home’s humidity. An ideal range in the summer months is between 45 to 55 percent relative humidity.
- Use your air conditioner and ventilation fans regularly.
- Invest in a dehumidifier if your AC unit is struggling to regulate your home’s humidity on its own.
- Check for condensation on your windows and regularly wipe down their frames.
- At the first sign of mold, call in a professional to help! They can get to the root of the problem — sometimes moisture builds up as the result of a leak you don’t know about — to make sure it doesn’t have the chance to get worse.
Do you have insurance coverage for mold growth?
Most homeowners policies offer mold remediation protection only to a certain degree. Mold damage is generally covered when its root cause is a peril already included in your policy, like sudden water damage from a malfunctioning washing machine.
Mold damage is not covered, however, if it’s the result of ongoing problems you failed to take care of as an owner. If small leaks have been left untreated for years or you’ve neglected to keep tabs on your home’s humidity, you could be on your own if damage strikes.
Your independent insurance agent is here for you
Lindow’s hometown insurance agents have your back. We know the ins and outs of Midwest risks because we experience them ourselves each and every year.
We’re here to help you protect your family the same way we protect ours.