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Tips to Protect Your Basement from Flooding

Published on May 1, 2020   Flood Basement

As the weather warms up and water starts to accumulate around your home, foundation cracks, leaky windows or incorrect grading can all lead to flood damage. This year, it’s more important than ever for homeowners to start assessing and preparing to protect their property. The potential for flooding in spring 2020 appears to be above normal, with numerous reports indicating higher-than-usual flooding risks.

If you have previously experienced basement flooding, live in a low-lying area or live in an older home, then additional precautions should be taken. But any homeowner would be wise to beef up their spring thaw defences.

One of our insurance company partners, Wawanesa Mutual Insurance, have put together some tips on how to prevent basement flooding:

  • Call the pros: When you think of calling someone in, the dollar signs start to flash. But this is one area you don’t want to skimp on. Have a plumber inspect and maintain your drains, sump pumps and backflow prevention devices. If you don’t have a sump pump and pit along with backflow devices, strong consideration should be given to having these devices installed as soon as possible.
  • Backwater valves: Install a mainline backwater valve to protect basement plumbing, including the catch basin. Make sure your backwater valve is maintained and cleaned on a regular basis.
  • Sump pumps: Select the right sump pump for your home by ensuring the motor is large enough to support it. Your sump pump should have its own outlet and circuit breaker, as well as a battery backup in the event of a power failure. Consider installing a warning device to signal water build-up in your sump pit.
  • Take advantage of rebates: Before installing a backwater valve or sump pump, check with your municipality for incentives or rebates related to the installation of equipment used for flood prevention.
  • Landscape: Although this will need to be tackled well in advance (before snow falls), it can make a major difference to adjust the slope of your yard and direct water away from your home. Look at the shape of any flower beds and ensure they don’t allow water to pool up near the building. For some lawns and yards, this could be a major landscaping project. As an interim measure, consider the purchase of a submersible pump and hose to drain “low spots” near the foundation.
  • Get ahead in colder weather: In winter, move snow away from your home’s foundation as much as possible. But first, look up and consider hiring a professional to clear any excessive snow accumulation from the roof.
  • Spring into action: As the weather warms up, watch for pooling water, reconnect your sump pump hose and extend it away from the foundation. Outside, also reconnect all downspout extensions and ensure they’re free of leaves and other debris. In addition, you’ll want to ensure those downspouts are not connected to the weeping tile and are directed away from your home.

Often you can take all of the above precautions and still suffer basement flooding.  If you aren’t sure if you have adequate coverage on your insurance policy, call your local branch and ask us if you have overland water, sewer back up and groundwater coverage on your policy.

For more information on flood prevention, click on the link below.

Wawanesa Mutual Insurance

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