One of the most frequent and costly natural hazards in Canada is overland flooding. If you aren't aware of the term, it is when water flows overland and seeps into buildings through windows, doors and cracks. Floods have affected hundreds of thousands of Canadians and cause millions of dollars in damages each year. However, the bigger concern for many Canadian homeowners is that they aren't insured for overland flooding, and can be left to deal with expensive repairs and replacing valuables.
Climate change scientists report that severe rain storms are occurring more often in many parts of Canada, and they are expected to continue to increase in frequency and severity. Therefore, it has never been more important to make sure your home is flood ready.
Here are just a few of the reasons to make sure you're prepared for overland flooding events.
- If water got into your home before, it could get in again unless you take action.
- Finished basements used as living space may have more furniture and expensive electronics, making it more important to protect your home.
- Since overland flood damage is typically not covered by your home insurance policy, a small cost now can save you a lot of money after the flood.
- Floods may have long-term health impacts on your family if they cause moulds to grow.
- Homes in older neighborhoods are usually more vulnerable than homes in newer neighbourhoods.
Being flood ready can save money, properties and lives. There are lots of things you can do to reduce potentially expensive damage from overland flooding. Some are relatively quick and easy.
- Put sealant around basement windows and the base of ground-level doors.
- Install flood shields or barriers for basement windows and doors.
- Raise large appliances in the basement above the potential water level from a flood.
- Secure furnaces, water heaters, and/or oil tanks so they won't tip over in a flood.
- Check that all basement flood drains are not blocked or covered up.
- Make sure your sump pump is working and install a battery-operated backup.
- Ensure your property is graded so that water runs away from your basement walls.
- Check that your roof and eavestroughs are draining properly in heavy rains.
- Make sure your downspouts extend at least 2 m (6 ft.) from your basement walls.
- Use a rain barrel to catch runoff from your roof.
ServiceMaster Restore has been helping home and business owners cope with water damage for more than 60 years. When your basement floods, call ServiceMaster Restore to handle the water extraction, drying and any necessary mould removal.