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Water damage

How to limit damage


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.
  • Avoid overheating the room
    Keep heat at a normal temperature for the time of year.
  • 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.

Note: If your home is no longer habitable, keep receipts for all expenses you incur for food and lodging outside your home. Depending on the nature of the damage and your coverage, these expenses may be reimbursed. If you do some of the work yourself, keep a record of the jobs done and the hours worked.

*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.