It’s finally summer in Alberta. Since the spring, you’ve likely heard a neighbour or friend complain about their basement flooding. Do you know how to prevent your abode from flooding and reduce the threat of damage to your home?
Flood proofing your home is the best route to minimize costs before an urban flood or sewer backup. In fact, if you’re one of the thousands of Albertans who have experienced a flood in their basement, you know it can be a major hassle. A flood can also cost you thousands of dollars if you’re not prepared.
Insurers are reporting an increase in water damage claims, specifically from basement flooding. They pay out billions of dollars a year in water damage claims in Canada from urban flooding and sewer backup, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
If you’re a homeowner, you can act now and lower the risk of flood damage to your home. We have a few tips to get your house protected in the event of extreme precipitation or a sewer backup.
Homeowner Prevention Tips to Reduce Flooding
While every home that’s connected to a storm or sanitary sewer system has some risk of loss, there are ways to reduce the hazard of a flood or backup.
Here are 5 tips to flood proof your home.
1. Get proper flood insurance protection for your home.
Do you own a home and not sure what type of insurance policy you need? To protect your home from water damage, call your home insurance company right away. Our brokers are qualified to talk about flood coverage details. Did you know the more flood mitigation measures you have in place, the lower your home premiums will be? Having the correct flood insurance is a win-win for your wallet and your home.
2. Install a Backwater Valve
It’s bad enough if you get a flood in your basement from a storm or river overflow. But what if you have sewage floating around below? It’s not something you’ll want to experience.
One option is to hire a qualified plumber to install a backwater valve in your home to protect it from the backflow of the sanitary sewer system. Also called a backup valve or backflow, a backwater valve can be a lifesaver when the public sewer system fails – as it diverts the sewage water away from your home.
The City of Edmonton offers a financial subsidy of approximately $800 to install an interior or exterior backwater valve. Homeowners must meet specific requirements to obtain support.
3. Consider Installing a Sump Pump.
A sump pump is a small pump that’s installed under a basement floor and is used to pump water out of your basement or crawlspace onto a higher level, like a storm drain. There are some pros and cons to having a sump pump, so do your research before deciding as it can be a hefty investment. Some homes in a high flood area will already have a sump pump installed. If you do have a sump pump in your home, ensure you have backup power for the pump in the event of a power failure, mechanical failure or clogging.
4. Store items off your basement floor.
Storing sentimental items and personal possessions in a basement is pretty standard; it’s an excellent way to keep things out of sight and organized. But suppose you live in a flood fringe or floodway in Alberta. In that case, you’ll want to avoid finishing your basement or using your basement as a living space.
If you do store goods in your basement, make sure you use plastic containers or other storage systems to keep everything off the floor and away from potential water damage. Check for damage to your home’s structure often as a sump pump can’t prevent long-term damage to your house’s structure. A home inspector can look at your pump and give you some advice before you move into a new home.
5. Eavestrough and Downspout Maintenance
Eavestroughs, also called gutters, require cleaning in the spring and fall. Cleaning debris to ease the flow of water from your roof and away from your home’s foundation is the goal. It’s essential that your downspouts also drain away from your home to prevent the backup of water. Some homes have buried downspouts, or roof leader drains which can break or get clogged that lead to basement flooding. Make sure you check eavestroughs, downspouts, and your roof at least twice a year and get your repairs done right away to prevent any potential damage.
While flood proof tips can help prevent water damage to your home, the bottom line is there are many preventative measures can help save you money in the long-run, especially if you live in a flood-prone area in Alberta.
Our home expert brokers are here to find the right coverage for your home, so give us a call and we’ll be happy to review your insurance options with you!