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Preventing water damage

Ensure your family’s safety and prevent possible water damage to your property and residence using these tips.

How to prepare

  1. Check the gutters
    Make sure that they are free of all debris so they can drain properly.
  2. Repair caulking and cracks as needed
    This will help prevent water from getting in through doors, windows, the roof or the foundation.
  3. Put your property in a safe spot
    If you live in a flood risk zone, move furniture and other property in the basement to a higher floor or raise them on Styrofoam blocks or panels.
  4. Keep waterproof boots and gloves handy
  5. Have battery-powered devices and spare batteries on-hand
    (e.g., flashlight, radio, etc.)
  6. Stock up on bottled water
    Pay attention to advisories regarding drinking water, which can be affected following heavy rains.
  7. Wait for help in a flood
    Avoid entering flooded streets or rising pools of water as there is an increased risk of injury.

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Depending on the extent of water damage to your residence, you can follow these tips to prevent it from becoming worse.

  • Put your property and furniture in a safe spot
    You can also raise them up on Styrofoam blocks or panels.
  • Remove as much water as possible within 24 hours to prevent mould
    • Clean up the water using a wet/dry vacuum cleaner (e.g., Shop-Vac®). If you don’t already have one, you might be eligible for reimbursement of the purchase price (less than $100).*
    • Sponge-dry wet carpets and rugs with clean, white towels to avoid colour transfer.
    • Wipe off wet surfaces and dry out fabrics.
    • Remove wet cushions from couches and armchairs and stand them on end so they can dry evenly.
  • Clean and disinfect the premises with the following cleaning solution (for minor water damage only):
    Mix one part bleach to four parts water and add a little ammonia-free dish soap. (Never mix bleach with ammonia, as the reaction will give off toxic fumes.)
  • Air out and dehumidify your residence
    Use a dehumidifier (commonly used in basements) and a fan in the affected room.
  • Make an inventory of your damaged property
    A form is available to help you keep track:
    (PDF) List of property
  • Take photos of the damage
In the event of major water damage
Contact a damage clean-up company as soon as possible.*

Once the situation is under control, call a claims advisor to open your claim.

For more information, read the disaster prevention tips from the Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services of Ontario and the Government of Canada's list of key steps to take during an emergency.

*Refer to your insurance policy to determine the scope of your coverage. Keep receipts for all expenses incurred in protecting or preserving your property.

These tips are provided for information only and are not all inclusive. They neither constitute nor replace the advice of an expert.

  • The information provided on this page is meant for informational purposes only. Full details regarding coverage and exclusions can be found in the home insurance policy, which always prevails. Certain conditions, limitations and exclusions may apply.