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How To Protect Your Home From Water Damage And Flooding

By Josina Myrie  •  My Insurance Broker
Mar 6th, 2017 at 04:52 pm  •  Richmond Hill, ON

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Your home is an important investment, protecting it means taking preventative measures to avoid damage before it occurs. Water damage to your home not only results in costly repairs but could also be detrimental to your health. What if a pipe were to burst in your home during the heating season or water were to back up in your sewer during a heavy torrential downpour? Not only would you have to deal with a messy clean up, but you also run the risk of having your home infested with mould and sufferring from respiratory problems due to dampness. In addition, water damage to your home can affect its structure and foundation.

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According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, insurance claims for Canadians who have suffered water damage due to inclement weather are on the rise and has accounted for the highest percentage of insured losses over the past few years. According to Goffin (2017), approximately 70% of Canadians live in metropolitan areas with populations of 100,000 or more. These areas are more susceptible to flooding as concretes allow rainfall to be diverted into streets, sewers and basements which gives rise to flooding. The increment in weather conditions has resulted in intense rainstorms, flash floods and blocked sewer systems which is expected to continue with the advent of climate change. The best way to protect your home from water damage is to take precautionary measures and “prevent the damage before it occurs” (Karageorgos, 2017).

Water damage to your home can result from “the sudden and accidental escape of water from a plumbing system located inside your dwelling” (covered by your home insurance policy), the escape of water caused by freezing, from a sewer backup or escape of water from a sump or septic tank and from overland flooding. Taking precautionary measures to protect the interior and exterior of your home as well as proper maintenance, is the best way to prevent water damage. Water coverage for your home under your home insurance policy is restricted to certain types of water damage. Sewer backup and overland flooding generally require an add-on to your home insurance policy and is provided through a separate endorsement. Your insurance broker can help you to identify the type of coverage you need and the specific risks your home is vulnerable to.

How do I protect the interior of my home from water damage?

How can I protect my basement and its contents from flooding/sewer backup?

How do I protect the exterior of my home from water damage?

You can also reduce the risk of basement flooding by reducing the amount of water which drains from your property into municipal stormwater and sanitary sewer systems. Before embarking on flood reduction techniques, it is pertinent to speak to your municipal government as well as hire a licensed plumber to inspect the plumbing system of your home. Some options that you can explore to protect the exterior of your home from water damage include:

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References

City of Toronto. <a href="http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=d490ba32db7ce310VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD"> Mandatory Downspout Disconnection</a>
Goffin, P. (2017, January 9).<a href="https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/01/09/2016-broke-record-for-damage-caused-by-natural-disasters-insurers-report.html"> At $4.9 billion, 2016 broke record for damage caused by natural disasters, insurers report</a>. Toronto Star.
Hong, J. (2016, December 29).<a href="https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2016/12/29/how-torontos-sewage-system-keeps-us-safe-from-fatbergs-to-preventing-floods.html">How Toronto’s sewage system keeps us safe, from ‘fatbergs’ to preventing floods</a> Toronto Star
<a href="https://www.ibc.ca/on/disaster/water">Insurance Bureau of Canada. Water. 4 Ways to Prepare for Water-Related Damage</a>
a href="http://assets.ibc.ca/Documents/Brochures/Flooded.pdf">
Insurance Bureau of Canada. Flooded? Here’s What You Need to Know.</a>
<a href="https://assets.ibc.ca/Documents/Brochures/Water-Damage-on-the-Rise.pdf">
Insurance Bureau of Canada. Water Damage Are You Protected?</a>
a href="www.iclr.org/images/Basement_Flood_Handbook_-_2009.pdf">Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction. Handbook for reducing Basement flooding. (2009) </a>