6 Ways to Protect Your Home from Weather-Borne Water Damage

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Weather related water damage is public enemy number one when it comes to household disrepair. It impacts homes regardless of where in the province their foundation is laid. It arrives from the likes of flash floods, rising river levels, rain storms, and snowmelt and can be compounded by a lack of preparation. As an insurance broker we have seen it all. Water damage accounts for the greatest proportion of property insurance claims, and while many types of water damage are covered under residential insurance policies – some simply are not. For example, residential overland water protection has just recently become available in Canada. Contact your insurance provider to learn more about the importance of adding this valuable coverage to your policy.  There are also additional precautions you can take to better protect your assets from water damage. Park Insurance has a few very important tips for you in this regard.

6 Precautions that Protect Your Home

1. Start from the Top

Protecting your home starts at the top – on your roof. Having your roof (shingles, chimney, etc…) inspected for damage and having any issues attended to by a professional roofer will save you a lot of headaches in the long run. Regular maintenance should also be performed when it comes to your gutters. Periodically remove debris from gutters and downspouts to prevent water-weight damage. Homes in colder climates need to pay extra attention to gutters to prevent both icicle and ice dam formation.

2. Keep the Water from Entering Your Property in the First Place

Stop groundwater from reaching your home by taking proactive steps. Consider artificial swales (concave tracts) to keep storm runoff and snowmelt from stepping foot onto your property. If rain is a major issue in your climate, landscaping slopes around the foundation of your home will direct water away from it, preventing pooling from occurring.

3. Ensure that Utilities are Above the Level

Waterways swell during and after severe bouts of weather. If you reside near a river or stream educate yourself on the flood levels of the community. Electrical wiring, circuit breakers, outlets, and sockets should be installed (or adjusted to) one-foot above the official flood level to prevent the shortages and electrical fires that can occur when water meets utility portals.

4. Ensure Zero Points of Entry around the Exterior of Your Home

Make it a seasonal habit to clean, inspect and professionally repair the siding or stucco on the exterior of your home. Pay mind to the trim and weatherproofing around windows and doors and repair where needed. This is especially important for entry points (windows, stairs) that lead to your basement (read below).

5. Provide Your Basement with Proper Backup to Prevent Water Intrusion

Severe weather can turn your basement into an impromptu pool without proper precautions in place. In the event that all of the above do not stop water from entering your basement preventative steps will allow your home to fight back. Keep basement floor drains clear of debris at all times and routinely inspect points-of-entry immediately after bouts of heavy rainfall to identify potential leaks. Take protection a step further by installing a backflow preventive device, a sump pump, and a 24hr monitored water alarm system for further peace of mind.

6. Understand Property Insurance as it Relates to Water Damage from Natural Disasters

Coverage for loss and damage sustained by fresh-water overland flooding is now available! Contact us to learn more about this exciting new coverage today!

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