As the temperature warms up and Spring comes to Canada, homeowners are more susceptible to flood damage caused by the winter thaw. Approximately 20% of Canadians — around 1.7 million households — are exposed to significant flood risks, which results in thousands of insurance claims every year. Between melting snow and increased rain in the Spring, this time of year presents increased flood risks, especially for low-lying households and those who reside near rivers and lakes. Flooding can occur rapidly, leaving homeowners little time to react in the case of a flood or other weather-related emergency. Canadian Security Professionals helps protect your home and family from environmental hazards such as flooding. In addition to using a monitored security alarm system, here are a few tips to avoid disaster:
One of the most common causes of flooding in Canadian homes is clogged gutters and eavestroughs. When your drainage system is clogged by leaves, debris, and even ice, rainwater and melting snow cannot be directed away from your home. As it overflows, this water often leaks into basements or causes damage around the perimeter of your home. By keeping your gutters clean — a must-do chore before the snow falls — you can minimize clogs and ensure your drains direct water safely away from your home.
Your basement is especially susceptible to flooding, as it is the lowest point of your home. To help protect your basement from flooding, it is important that homeowners install the necessary flood shields and water barriers to prevent water from being able to get into your home. Beyond flood shields, arming your basement windows and exterior doors with a weather-protective sealant can help keep water and moisture out. Not only will these protective features help keep water out, but they will also preserve the structural integrity of your home’s foundation. Water damage can lead to significant — and expensive — repairs to the foundation of your home, so it is crucial that you protect high-risk areas.
Should your basement flood, a sump pump is a must-have for rural homeowners. A sump pump will help pump overflow water out of your basement before it floods. Unfortunately, sump pumps require power to operate. Heavy flooding is often accompanied with — sometimes lengthy — power outages, so be sure to have a generator or backup power source to ensure you can effectively pump water out of your basement if the power goes out. As added protection against flooding in your basement, consider putting all of your belongings on shelves to get them up off the floor and protect them from mild flooding.
Not only can large amounts of snow compromise the integrity of your roof, but more snow on your roof also means more water during the thaw. To get ahead of this problem before the snow melts, remove as much snow as possible throughout the winter. This will prevent massive amounts of water from hitting your drainage system.
Melting snow can also flow down the outside walls of your home, compromising the walls of your basement. To combat this, remove as much snow as possible from the perimeter of your home. By doing this, the thaw will have minimal effect on your exterior walls, minimizing the strain your basement walls must handle from the moisture and water.
Another annual chore that is very important for homeowners — especially for those with older homes — is to seal the cracks in your walls and floor. Small cracks are common in older houses, and many of them are harmless, but they also act as an entry-point for flood waters. Basements are especially susceptible, as you never know how much moisture is in the ground during a thaw. To keep your home protected, an annual inspection to seal cracks can save you a great deal of money in the future.
When extreme flooding occurs in areas with sewer systems, it can cause the backflow of water into your drains, faucets, and toilets. This sewage can have a serious impact on the health of your family and the integrity of your home, as flooding damage can be extensive. To prevent this, have a professional plumber install backflow valves in all of your drains and fixtures. A backflow valve will automatically close off your drains in the event of flooding, preventing stormwater and sewage water from coming back up through your pipes.
Heavy flooding can be extremely dangerous, especially with live electricity. Should your home experience any form of flooding, it is important that you know how to turn off your power. Never enter a flooded area without first shutting off your power. This can help save your family and emergency workers from electrocution.
For homeowners who live in areas susceptible to flooding, insurance is a must-have. If you are not sure what kind of coverage you have, contact your insurance provider and make sure you have coverage for flood damage, for both your belongings and your home itself. Should the worst happen, you will be happy you double-checked and made sure you had extensive coverage. Otherwise, you may have to replace your belongings and fix your home out-of-pocket, which can be quite expensive.
For more information about protecting your home from flooding, call Canadian Security Professionals at 1-877-229-7252 or contact us here.