Flooding is on the rise and it’s costing Canadians—according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, repairing a flooded basement can run up to $43,000. All the more reason to waterproof your home before the next big storm.
Luckily, simple fixes can go a long way. “The single largest issue we see creating water entry into basements is inadequate drainage away from the home,” says Shea Ratzlaff, who owns a franchise of Rainbow International, a restoration company that specializes in water damage. “Most often, all it takes is placing some dirt or topsoil along the home to make sure the water runs away from the foundation.”
Ratzlaff also recommends making sure any windows that are close to the ground have strong seals and proper drainage. Ideally, these windows all have a window well with crushed rock and weeping tile, he says. And come winter, make sure to shut off and winterize all exterior water valves and lines, which can freeze in the cold weather and leak once spring arrives.
It’s also worth keeping an eye out for repairs that will require professional help. One way to do that is to take a “walk around outside the home in spring and fall,” Ratzlaff says. You’re looking for any signs that your home may be prone to flooding, like a damaged roof, eavestrough or downspout; cracks in exterior walls; or deteriorating seals on doors and windows.
What you can do to prevent burst pipes
Drain and disconnect all your outdoor water hookups
That includes your sprinkler system, outside hoses and any outdoor appliances, such as refrigerators and fountains.
Wrap your pipes with durable insulation
And not just when cold weather is approaching! “It’s still a good idea to insulate your home’s pipes year-round to take some of the load off your water heater,” says Vesna Kolakovic, franchise owner of Mr. Rooter Plumbing Mississauga/Etobicoke.
Let your taps drip
Leave your kitchen or bathroom taps open a tiny bit—this will keep a little water flowing through your pipes, which helps prevent them from bursting if they do freeze. To minimize wasted water, only open taps that are connected to exposed pipes. And remember, if your hot- and cold-water lines both serve a spigot, open both valves.
Get the right coverage
Be confident that your home insurance policy includes everything you need. Talk to a CAA Insurance expert who can review your policy and help you understand what’s covered for flooding and water damage and what may require an addition to your existing policy. Call 1-888-545-7254 or go to caaneo.ca/insurance for more information.
Property Insurance is underwritten by CAA Insurance Company. Certain conditions, limitations and underwriting guidelines apply.