April showers bring May flowers, but it can also mean melting snow, rapid spring thaw, and heavy rain. In the last decade, water damage claims have resulted in billion-dollar losses for Canadian insurance companies, surpassing fire claims long ago. In this post, we’ll cover how to prevent flooding, as well as ways to lower the cost of clean-up if flooding occurs.
To better protect your home from water damage, assess the risk of flooding in your region and your house specifically. Once you’ve assessed your home’s overall risk of flooding, take any necessary steps to properly floodproof your home. Flood prevention can be costly, but here are some home flooding solutions broken down into three cost-effective categories.
Cost-free measures you can take yourself to prevent flooding
Maintaining what you already have at your home at least twice a year – including:
- Remove debris from the nearest storm drain, ditch, or culvert
- Clean out your eavestroughs
- Check for leaks in plumbing, fixtures, and appliances
- Test your sump pump
- Clean out your backwater valve
Inexpensive action you can take to prevent flooding
Try some simple upgrades that can easily be made without hiring any outside sources – including:
- Install window well covers (where fire escape requirements permit)
- Extend downspouts and sump discharge pipes at least 2 metres from the foundation
- Store valuables and hazardous materials in watertight containers and secure fuel tanks
- Remove obstructions to floor drain
- Install and maintain flood alarms
Steps you can take to prevent flooding with the help of a contractor
This will involve working with a contractor because these upgrades are more complex – including:
- Install window wells that sit 10-15 centimetres above ground and upgrade to water-resistant windows
- Disconnect downspouts, cap foundation drains, and extend downspouts to direct water at least 2 metres from foundation
- Correct grading to direct water at least 2 meters away from foundation
- Install a backwater valve
- Install a backup sump pump and battery
Sump Pump System
If your house is prone to accumulating water, then a sump pump is one of the most integral parts of equipment in your house and should be checked regularly. If you don’t have one installed and know that flooding is an issue in your area, talk to your plumber. We recommend installing a battery-operated pump in case of power outages. When water starts accumulating, the sump pump is activated by a pressure sensor or flotation activator. It uses centrifugal force to create a low-pressure environment to suck water in and force water out through a pipe that dumps it away from your home. The sump pump check valve prevents the water from trickling back through the pipe. Not all residential insurance policies include water damage caused by sump pump failure or sewer backup, as this is optional coverage. Talk to your Cayuga Mutual Agent to learn more about adding water damage coverage.
Peace of Mind
At Cayuga Mutual, we’re here to help you focus more on the sunshine and less on the other stuff. If you need some peace of mind this flood season, give us a call and check out our handy How to Prevent Spring Water Damage: A Homeowner’s Checklist blog for some preventative tips that are easy to do yourself. Happy Spring!