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5 ways to protect your home against spring flooding


When spring arrives, it sometimes brings the perfect conditions for flooding. The combination of heavy rainfall, snow and ice melting and frozen ground can produce large amounts of runoff in a short period of time, overflowing bodies of water and flooding homes. As we experience more extreme weather conditions, the risk of damage from spring flooding is on the rise. Just last year, a total of 17,494 dwellings in Canada were flooded or were at risk of flooding1 and the spring flooding in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick caused $160 million worth of insured damage.2 If your home floods, water damage is not a cheap fix; if your basement floods, you could be facing an average cost of $43,000 to repair.3

The best way to protect yourself and your home from flooding is to be proactive. Follow these 5 tips to protect your home from flooding this spring.

1.    Learn from the past

If your house has leaked before, it will likely leak again. Before the heavy rains and melting snow find their way into your home, make sure you repair any cracks in your walls or foundation that have previously caused flooding.

2.    Clear out debris

Built up debris in your gutters, eaves troughs and window wells can keep water from draining away from your home properly. Keep these areas free from debris and build-up before heavy rain comes.

3.    Get your pump ready

Make sure your sump pump is ready to go before the storm hits. Test your sump pump regularly and make sure you have a battery or back-up power source in case your power goes out in a storm. In addition to having a sump pump, installing a back-water valve will prevent flooding from sewer back-up.

Damaged shingles on a roof.4.    Check for leaks from above

Damaged shingles or worn out skylights can be an easy entry point for water during a storm. Inspect your roof to make sure you don’t get water damage from a leaky roof.

5.    Give the water somewhere to go

Make sure that you have methods in place to direct water away from your home. If you notice water pooling around your home, try getting your yard re-graded, using downspout extensions, installing a foundation drain tile or removing plant debris that can prevent soil from draining properly.

Get the right insurance coverage 

If your home floods despite your best prevention efforts, it can be expensive to repair water damage without insurance coverage. Most home insurance policies cover water damage if a pipe bursts, but do not protect your home from flooding from external sources, such as rain or sewer back up. Save yourself the trouble of spending $43,0003 to repair your flooded basement by getting overland flood insurance and sewer backup coverage.

Overland flood insurance will protect from loss or damage due to spring flooding caused by sudden accumulation of rain, run-off of surface water and overflows from any body of fresh water. Sewer backup coverage will help If your home floods due to rupture or escape from the sewer, a drain, a sump pump or a septic system.

The availability of these coverages is dependent on your location and on your insurance carrier; call an OTIP insurance broker today at 1-866-561-5559 to discuss adding these coverages to your home insurance policy.

1.    Statistics Canada
2.    Floodlist.com
3.    Insurance Business Magazine

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