According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, $2 billion has become the new normal for yearly catastrophic losses – most of this is due to water-related damage. As temperatures start to climb above 0°C, we would like to offer some suggestions to help you protect your home and the contents within from costly damage caused by melting snow and ice.
Tips for preventing water damage
- Shovel snow away from the foundation of your home and check the grading of the ground to ensure that water flows away from the house.
- Check gutters and downspouts for debris and clear obstructions if you can safely do so. If not, consult a professional to have the obstructions cleared.
- Consider adding an extension to your downspout(s) if the end is not at least 2 meters from the foundation.
- Check the foundation for cracks, if any are visible take steps to have them repaired immediately.
- Check that your sump pump is functioning properly, if not, have it repaired right away. If you do not have a sump pump or backflow valve, consider having them installed. This can often lead to savings on your homeowner insurance!
Signs of Water Damage
We also recommend that you check for signs of water damage, early detection can be key to avoiding significant and costly damages to your home.
Signs of water damage include:
- Cracks in floors or walls, particularly if there is discoloration.
- Signs of mold or mildew, particularly around baseboards and windows.
- Musty smells in your home.
- Puddles of water in the basement.
If you have water damage in your home
If you do suffer water damage in your home, we recommend that you take the following steps as long as you can do so safely:
- If possible, take immediate action to minimize the damage to your dwelling and contents.
- Remove valuable or precious items away from the area affected.
- Contact us immediately if you need to make a claim. Water damage can lead to significant issues in your home and it is important to act quickly.
- If items are damaged, take photos and do not discard the items before speaking to your insurance broker.