Flooding is easily one of the biggest inconveniences to any homeowner or renter. Fortunately, there are things that can be done to mitigate the damage done by flooding in your home.

These two lists from the Insurance Bureau of Canada are a good overview of causes of flooding and ways to reduce water damage risks:

6 Common Causes of Basement Flooding

  1. Using a sink or toilet to improperly dispose of materials such as fats, oils, grease and diapers
  2. Tree roots growing through cracks in the waterlines and causing blockages
  3. Overloaded sewer and storm water infrastructure that leads to a sewer backup
  4. Frozen water pipes
  5. Vandals blocking sewer lines
  6. Illegal hook-ups that allow excess water into the lines – outside stairwell drains, sump pumps, downspouts and drain gutters should never be connected to the sewer system.

9 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Water Damage Risk

  1. Keep all floor drains clear of obstructions.
  2. Arrange to have someone check your property if you are away from home for more than 3 days.
  3. Ensure that there is proper grading around your home.
  4. Install a sump pump.
  5. Install backflow valves or plugs for drains, toilets and other sewer connections, to prevent sewer water from entering your home.
  6. Store important documents and irreplaceable personal objects (such as photographs) where they will not get damaged.
  7. During the winter, if you are away for more than 3 days, drain the plumbing or arrange to have someone come in daily and check that your heat is still on.
  8. Elevate furnaces, water heaters and electrical panels in the basement on masonry or relocate these objects.
  9. Avoid finishing areas like basements that may be prone to flooding.

Moreover, these tips from SGI Canada are also valuable:

Through regular maintenance, you can avoid the expensive problems caused by leaky roofs, including damaged insulation and drywall, and increased moisture and mold. Make sure to:

  • get your roof inspected twice a year – once before winter and once after;
  • check the flashing (metal seals) and apply a sealant to any gaps, cracks or holes; and
  • inspect for any loose or missing shingles and replace as needed.

With this year’s spring melt almost gone, here are some tips for next end of winter:

  • Make sure that there are no snow piles preventing water from flowing away from your property and into the sewage system. Keeping your walk and driveway clear, as well as making sure any drains near your property are clear from snow will help keep water where it needs to be.
  • Shovel snow away from foundations and window wells as there is a chance water could seep in
  • Installing a plastic cover above your basement windows can help prevent water entering
  • If there are any low areas in your backyard, it is worth removing snow from there to prevent water pooling