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7 tips to protect your home from basement flooding

With the climate changing and weather patterns more unpredictable than ever, flooding has become the primary concern for water damage in household basements.

The potential for flooding with recent spring thaws continues to be a growing concern, with constant reports indicating higher than usual flood risks year over year.

According to a report by the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo, basement flooding is on the rise all across Canada. Their findings reveal that 1.7 million Canadian households are exposed to some sort of flooding risk. This is expected to result in billions of dollars of losses, with an average price tag of $43,000 per flooded basement.

“More often than not, basement flooding is a result of overland flooding, infiltration flooding or sewer backup, or a combination of two or all three of these types of flooding.” According to the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR), a not-for-profit institute for disaster prevention research.


7 steps to prevent damage to your basement
  1. Call the professionals: have a plumber inspect and maintain your floor drains, sump pumps and back flow prevention devices
  2. Backwater flow valves: Install a mainline backwater valve to protect your basement plumbing. Make sure the valve is maintained and cleaned on a regular basis.
  3. Sump pumps: Your sump pump must be the right size for your home and the motor needs to be large enough to handle the amount of water in your home. The sump pump should have its own circuit breaker and outlet and a battery back up in case of power failure.
  4. Take advantage of rebates: Many municipalities provide incentives or rebates that apply to the installation of flood prevention equipment in your home.
  5. Landscaping: Making an adjustment to the slope of your yard and directing water away from your home can make a major difference. Make sure water is not pooling near your foundation
  6. Snow removal: During the winter months, move as much snow away from your home’s foundation as possible. You can also look at hiring a professional to clear excess snow from your roof
  7. Spring thaw: Reconnect your sump pump hose and make sure it drains away from your foundation. Make sure all downspout extensions are clear of leaves and debris

Speak to your Broker – It is very important to take measures in your own hands as a home owner and prevent damage to your basement. It is equally important to talk to your broker about what types of water damages are covered under your policy and what limits are available to you.

We have some information on our website regarding optional coverage available on your home insurance for your reference.

Homeowners that live in a low-lying area are not the only people at risk for flooding. Any home or  condominium could be vulnerable. A quick call to your broker can clarify your existing coverage and an extra layer of protection for water damage can be added.

Tim Moore
Account Executive

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