How to Prevent and Avoid Water Damage
We always hope that April showers will bring us May flowers, but on occasion April showers can bring water damage. Water damage can be very costly to individuals, both monetarily and emotionally. The cost to fix or replace water damaged property can range from modest to extreme, not to mention the emotional value of certain sentimental possessions that may be damaged or destroyed due to water damage.
We have curated a list of tips offered by the federal Government of Canada to help your clients avoid costly water damage and claim related premium increases.
Know your risk
Contact your local government for information on flood risks in your area. Low lying areas are more flood prone than others, requiring more preparation and maintenance to reduce the risk of water damage. Contact your local government for flood maps specific to your area.
Protect windows and entryways
Make sure all basement windows and ground level doors are protected by installing weather protection sealant. Additionally, install flood shields or barriers around basement windows and doors, allowing the top of the shield to raise above ground level.
Install a water alarm
Install a water alarm to alert you if water begins to accumulate over a certain level in your basement.
Turn off electricity in the event of a flood warning
If there is a flood warning in effect for your area shut off electricity to areas of the property that are at risk for flooding or water damage
Install backwater valves or plugs
Install backwater valves or plugs for drains, toilets and other sewer connections. This will help prevent sewer backups into your house.
Check your sump pump
Make sure that your sump pump is in good working condition and consider installing a battery powered backup to ensure your sump pump continues working even in the event of a power failure.
Raise items off basement floors
Raise large items such as furnaces, hot water heaters, and other large appliances off of basement floors. Set them on wood or cement blocks to avoid water damage. If you use your basement as extra storage space consider storing your belongings in waterproof containers such as plastic tote bins or waterproof plastic bags. This is especially important if you store valuable or sentimental items in your basement.You may consider storing these items on a higher floor to best avoid water damage.
Adjust your downspouts
Make sure that downspouts extend at least 2m away from your home and that water is draining away from your property and neighboring properties. Additionally, ensure that your eavestroughs are not blocked by checking and cleaning them out as needed.
Consider planting a “rain garden”
A rain garden is a landscaping feature that includes native shrubs, perennials and flowers in a shallow depression to collect rainwater and prevent it from entering the storm drain system. A rain garden can be a beautiful and cost effective way to gently prevent the collection of water in your home. A full guide on the utility and creation of a rain garden from the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority can be found here on their website.
If you wish to learn more about what you can do to protect yourself and your property from water damage extensive tips and advice can be found at the Government of Canada website here.