7 tips to protect your home against flooding

April 6th, 2015 by

With spring now here, the risk of flooding increases, as we discussed in a recent article. Particularly if you live in an area that experienced a deep freeze this year, it is vital to take the necessary steps to protect your property from overland flooding. The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) advises taking out any valuables in your basement, having a pump readily accessible and waterproofing your home through installing the proper doors, windows and walls.

In an article for HouseLogic, Gwen Moran offers other helpful tips for protecting your home. As Moran explains, overland flooding is not covered by most standard homeowners insurance policies, so you normally have to take out a separate flood insurance policy.

Here are Moran's seven tips for protecting your property from flooding:

Put together an emergency bag: The bag should contain necessary items and important information in case you need to leave your home quickly due to flooding. Make sure you and your family have several changes of clothing, basic toiletries and money to last a few days. In addition, have your insurance policy information, including the number of your individual agent. Finally, map out an evacuation route for your family, which should include a safe and dry location you can easily go to, whether this is a hotel or a family or friend's house. When making these decisions about leaving your home, always follow the advice of local and state authorities. 

Take preventative measures: It is also important to take preventative measures, as Bill Begal, owner of Begal Enterprises, a Rockville, Md. company, affirms. To prevent water from accumulating in your home, make sure to turn off the power at the main electrical panel in your house. 

Here are five more preventative steps to take before the spring thaw, as compiled by Moran:

Fix leaks quickly: Two of the principle causes of structural problems and mold are leaky roofs and cracks in your home's foundation. Toward this end, Moran says "when you see wet spots on the ceiling or cracks in the foundation, fix them as soon as it's safe to get up on the roof or the material is dry enough to repair." She adds: "Check that roofing shingles are secure."

Invest in good roof protection: Moran says it worth the extra investment to install a rubber roof underlayment, which provides a waterproof barrier. 

Clear gutters and drains: As blocked drains can lead to water accumulation, make sure that your gutters and drainage system are clear of water and free of leaves and debris. 

Consider a battery-powered sump pump: "Sump pumps let you pump water out of your home and can be an excellent defense against flooding," writes Moran. Yet, a common problem with sump pumps is the risk of the electricity and power failing, which can happen during severe storms. To guard against this risk, consider investing in a battery-powered sump pump, which typically costs between $150-$400. 

Prevent sewer backup: Sewer or septic line check valves ensure that water only flows in one direction. You can either install these yourself or hire a professional for approximately an additional $100 per valve. The goal in installing these valves is to make sure that sewage doesn't back into your standing water. Moran adds: "Install at a point in the pipe that's easy to access for repair."

Floods are a risk homeowners want to guard against, especially during the spring. By taking these steps, you can help protect your home against flooding and related damage.

For the best homeowners insurance in New Brunswick, contact Fundy Mutual. We'll answer your questions and find you the best policy for your needs.