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Be Floodsmart – 6 Simple Ways To Prevent Spring Flooding

DID YOU KNOW that approximately 40% of all home insurance claims are the result of water damage? The average cost of water damage claims rose 117%, from $7,192 in 2002 to over $15,500 in 2012.*

For most of us, spring can’t come soon enough – each year, as we eagerly await the longer days and rising temperatures, we may also face a nasty surprise when the resulting spring run-off water makes its way into our homes. Water damage can be costly to repair and could also create possible health impacts, including respiratory problems from dampness and mould growth.

There are a number of factors that can leave your home susceptible to flooding, including:

  • Holes or cracks in basement walls;
  • Poor drainage on your property;
  • Blocked foundation drains, downspouts or eave troughs;
  • Blockage between your home and the neighborhood sewer system;
  • Sump pump failure.

Taking the following 6 simple steps could help prevent spring flooding and keep your home dry:

  1. Clear snow away from the house
    Clear the snow around the perimeter of your home’s foundation, especially any snow/ice that has piled around your basement windows.
  2. Check your foundation
    One of the most common causes of basement flooding is a weakened foundation. Check your foundation, walls and floors and seal any cracks or openings using epoxy or masonry sealer. For more serious problems, be sure to call in a qualified professional.
  3. Clean out gutters and downspouts
    Remove snow, ice and debris from your roof, gutters and downspouts to ensure they are draining properly. Position downspouts to drain at least two metres away from your foundation. If this isn’t possible, consider adding extensions to your downspouts.
  4. Check your sump pump
    Check your sump pump well to ensure the intake valve is not blocked and the sump pit is free of debris. And remember that sump pumps need power to work—a back-up generator or battery may be a worthwhile investment.
  5. Get a high water/flood alarm
    Consider installing water/flood sensors to help detect, damage from flooding and leaks. When connected to your home alarm system, these sensors can be monitored 24/7, so the problem can be stopped before the damage becomes severe.
  6. Move valuables to higher ground
    Make sure your valuables are moved to higher ground or onto a shelf unless they are waterproof.

*Aviva’s media release April 10, 2013

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