Family memories, important documents, and costly possessions can all become destroyed because of a flood. To prevent this distress from happening here are six tips to protect your home from flooding:
1. Be aware
If there have been numerous rain downpours in your area and you are concerned about flooding, watch the weather forecast. Knowledge is power, and the more you are informed of a potential flooding, the better. With this preparedness in mind, you can shop for all the essentials you may need such as sandbags, as they can block water from getting through your doorway. Have an emergency flood kit at the ready containing personal IDS, emergency numbers, insurance policy, important documents, change of clothes, toiletries and any medications needed. Be sure to let your neighbours know, especially any elderly or vulnerable citizens.
2. Protect sentimental items
Place all sentimental value items such as family photos, heirlooms or birth certificates in waterproof bags and waterproof containers. Move any furniture and artwork upstairs. Compile a home inventory list of all your personal possessions, along with any photos or videos with flood footage. This is particularly helpful when filing an insurance claim in the aftermath.
3. Rise above
Any electrical switches, sockets, circuit breakers, and wiring should be raised approximately a foot above flood level. As well as any air conditioning units, furnaces and generators should be raised higher. These can also be wrapped up in waterproof tarps.
4. Monitor the basement
Basements are usually hit the hardest when it comes to flooding. The good news is there are ways to reduce the risk of flooding. For starters, make sure the ground slopes away from your home’s foundation. Any rain which does not drain away from the foundation can potentially cause moisture problems in your basement. Make sure the plumbing and drainage system in your home is in good condition. Seal any cracks and openings in basement walls, floors, windows, and foundations.
5. Watch for sewage
With flooding, comes sewage; and no one wants that in their home. Install a backwater valve or sump pump. This will help prevent water from entering the basement. The backwater valve should have been installed in your home correctly to ensure any sewage is halted and doesn’t come through any other outlets in the basement such as sinks, toilets, and laundry tubs. A sump pump assists with pushing out water gathered by the weeping tile system to an area outside your home. The City of Toronto website recommends the sump pump should empty onto an absorbent surface at least two meters from the foundation wall. There is a chance during a severe rainstorm, the sump pump could lose power. It might be worth it to consider a battery back-up, just in case.
6. Clear eavestroughs and gutters
It’s important to maintain eavestroughs and gutters and make sure they are not clogged with leaves and debris. When they are clogged, they can cause damage to the foundation. When checking the gutters, use a garden hose to wash it and see if the water drains properly away from your home.
Lastly, it’s important to make sure you have proper insurance coverage for water damage. Desjardins Insurance offers a wide variety of home insurance coverages. For more information, contact one of our licensed insurance advisors and get a quote.