Help Me Hank: Expert tips to protect your basement as rain causes flooding in Metro Detroit

Many homeowners dealing with flooding from last week

By Hank Winchester - Reporter, Kelley Kosuda - Producer

DETROIT - We’re at the one-week mark.

Just one week ago, heavy rains led to flooding in several Metro Detroit communities. Basements flooded in the homes of so many people, causing unneeded stress.

It’s easy for those of us who didn’t experience the floods to just brush it off, but your basement could be next.

So we wanted to know, what’s an easy to way to protect yourself from floods?

We talked to Benjamin Gergis from DryMedic, a restoration company in Bloomfield.

He and his team have been fielding hundreds of calls this week. Gergis says one of the main things he’s seeing is the lack of protection homeowners have when it comes to this issue and he feels passionately about educating others.

When water enters through the pipe system, overflows and fills up your basement, it’s considered a backup.

Flood insurance and backup insurance are different. Only certain people qualify for flood insurance and it’s all based on where you live. But anyone can purchase a backup rider that will protect yourself in this instance. It’s a broad coverage.

Gergis says that if you have a basement with a sump pump or a floor drain, you need that backup protection. (But if you notice, we often call it all “flooding” based on the nature of it and what’s easiest to refer it too!)

Callers have been asking our Help Me Hank volunteers if the municipalities will cover their damages.

Gergis says it’s all about what you qualify for. If you contact the city, fill out the paperwork and get on their list. The federal government, through FEMA, might be able to help you. But that will only cover things that are necessary for quality of life…a furnace or water heater, for example. They won’t cover the cleanup efforts, which is what his company comes out to help with.

A backup rider would be able to help with cleaning up the flooding of water in your basement, which is needed. Contaminants live in that water, no matter if it smells or not.

Backup riders cover a slew of issues that pertain to water and stoppage of water leaving your house.

If cost is an issue or you think it’s a job you can tackle…make sure you do it the right way. Wear rubber gloves, boots and respirators.

If your basement does flood, be safe.

Costs of backup riders vary, but most only cost a couple of hundred dollars a year.

Reaching out to your insurance agent is always the smart thing to do.
But it’s actually the SECOND thing you should do in the event of a basement flood.

Sumer Bashi is a licensed account executive with Insurance Advisors.

He says calling a restoration company is first. They work with insurance companies and know how to assess the damage the right way. The longer the water sits in your basement, the more damage will occur. A restoration company could minimize that damage.

When going through an insurance agency, there’s a key thing you should remember.

Don’t get taken by aback contractor, cleanup company or someone posing as an insurance agent. Here’s a report we did on tips to avoid falling victim to fraud.

Copyright 2019 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.