Friday, April 24, 2015

Water Loss Prevention: Top 10 Tips for Homeowners to Prevent Flooding

Guest Blogger - Alex Byrne, The Co-operators Insurance - Water-related loss is the most common home insurance claim in Canada. It is also among the most expensive types of loss. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, Canadian insurers pay an average of 1.7 billion each year due to water-related home insurance claims.
Every home is at risk of basement flooding, even if you have never experienced flooding in the past. Water in your basement is most likely to occur when there has been heavy rainfall, snow melting, or during a spring thaw. No one can control the weather but there are some steps that you can take to prevent, or at least reduce the chance of water damage.

To help you start thinking about steps as a homeowner that you can take to help prevent water damage in your home, check out the list below: 

10 tips for homeowners to help prevent basement flooding

  1. Contact your local government to get information on any available programs on reducing basement flooding.
  2. Have a plumbing inspection done on your home to determine best options based on the plumbing and sewer connections of your home. These can include:
    1. Installing a backwater valve.
    2. Installing an automatic back-up pump to your existing sump pump if you have one. Batteries or a generator can be used to power the back-up pump.
  3. Improve the drainage outside of your home by:
    1. Keeping weeping tiles clear and in good repair.
    2. Making sure your downspouts drain water away from your house.
    3. Disconnecting downspouts from sewers.
    4. Making sure your grading allows for correct drainage.
    5. Install window wells at basement windows to create an extra barrier to keep water out.
    6. Keeping outside drains clear.
  4. Use a rain barrel to catch water run-off from downspouts.
  5. Avoid storing items directly on the basement floor. Always store on shelves and in watertight plastic containers, whenever possible.
  6. Make sure you have at least one floor drain in the same room as your washing machine.
  7. Avoid pouring all fats, oils and grease down your drains. You would be surprised how quickly the deposits add up, and can cause a blocked drain or pipe.
  8. Check that hoses on dishwashers and washing machines are made of braided stainless steel.
  9. If you have a water dispenser and/or ice maker in your refrigerator, make sure the water line uses either copper or braided stainless steel.
  10. Seal any cracks in foundation walls and basement floors.
Benefits of loss prevention
We all know that accidents and storms happen; but you can play a vital role in preventing water damage to your property. Take action to try and limit potential damage to your property. Some benefits of loss prevention may include:
  • Possible discounts
  • Access to higher limits of coverage 
  • Potential municipal programs available to compensate homeowners who install loss prevention devices (refer to your local municipality for information on programs).
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