“April showers bring May flowers” as the saying goes, but heavy spring rain coupled with still-melting snow can also bring some less desirable events. Here are a few tips to improve your chances of only needing your rubber boots while outside your home this spring:
- Keep street drains clear: Although you’re probably not on the Municipal payroll, we can all play a role in keeping an eye on things in our own neighbourhood. Sometime manhole covers get covered over with snow and ice, or other debris. Call your municipality if you see an issue. Or, if it’s a simple fix, be careful if you decide to undertake clearing efforts yourself.
- Install and/or test that Sump Pump: Many basements have been saved by sump pumps. However, they only work… if they work! Schedule a quick test of your pump a couple of times per year. Also, remember that these machines require electricity to operate, and many of the storm events that bring flooding also bring power outages with them. So, it’s never bad idea to have alternative power on hand such as heavy-duty battery backup or a generator (never run these inside your home though!).
- Check your home gutter system: Make sure your gutters aren’t clogged with leaves or other debris. Also, check to see that your downspouts are extended far enough away from your home’s foundation so as not to overwhelm the grounds right next to your home.
- Install a backwater valve: These simple yet ingenious little devices act as a door that slams shuts whenever municipal sewer lines get overwhelmed and try to send the “yucky stuff” in the wrong direction and back towards your home. Many municipalities have made this installation of these backwater valves mandatory on all new home constructions, and some (like Moncton) even have incentive programs to help subsidize the cost. Your local licensed plumber is your go-to expert in this area.
- Get your stuff off the basement floor: Most water damage claims originate from home basements flooding. Basement floors and baseboards can be replaced, but you DO NOT want sewer water touching important family keepsakes! Raised shelving units and watertight plastic storage containers can save a whole lot of grief.
- Consider water detection alarms: There are lots of great products out there that use sensor to detect unwanted water while you’re asleep or away from the home. These systems can notify you as soon as water is detected, and some will even automatically close off the main water line coming into your home in case that is the source of the water! Some systems are quite reasonably priced. Once again, your local licensed plumber or water systems provider can likely provide guidance.
- Buy “Sewer Backup” and “Overland Water” insurance: Even with all the above measures in place, the unfortunate reality is that sometimes the water just finds a way in despite our best efforts. Although some water events are not insurable, many of them are. Give us a call today to review your water protection insurance.
Here’s wishing you a wonderful “worry pas” spring season!