Basement flooding: how to avoid this spring thaw

 Even though many parts of Canada had a relatively warm winter, the annual spring thaw always poses a risk for basement flooding and home water damage. Preventing it is your best bet, as the average cost of a basement flood is over $40,000.

More than the expense, water damage can ruin your belongings, create a mess, require you to file an insurance claim and take a long time to clean up. Depending on where you live, your home may be more prone to flooding.

Understanding the signs and being proactive about taking care of your home can help you reduce the risk.  Aviva Canada, one of Canada’s largest insurance providers, offers some tips you can take to protect your basement against flooding:

Get a plumber to inspect your home for potential issues that could lead to flooding — such as poor drainage, overflowing eavestroughs and cracks in the foundation.

  • Clean your eavestroughs on a regular basis to avoid clogging and overflow.
  • Refrain from pouring oils and fats that can block drains.
  • Keep storm-sewer drains clear of debris.
  • If you have a sump pump, consider having it equipped with a battery backup in case of power outages, and make sure to inspect it regularly to ensure it’s working correctly.
  • When buying a home, make sure you are aware of any flooding issues in the area.
  • Talk to your insurance broker about what level of water damage your current homeowner’s insurance covers and what additional insurance you might need.   Find more information at