Water is essential for life. But it can also have a devastating impact on our lives if it floods our homes and communities. Here are three types of flooding that can affect your home, and how to protect it.
Clogged eavestroughs can cause a number of problems, from damaging the soffit and roofline to basement flooding. Ideally, you’ll clean out your eaves in late fall after the leaves have dropped and before the snow arrives. If you missed doing last season, it’s worth doing now anyway.
Your downspouts should eject water at least four feet from the foundation, and channel it away from your house. If your yard slopes towards the house, contact a landscaper to get it regraded.
Inspecting your plumbing fixtures and appliances that use water should be on your annual to-do list. Check all the fittings and drainpipes for signs of corrosion or leaks.
You can also buy affordable electronic leak detectors that will set off an alarm if they come in contact with moisture. Set these up near your water tank, washing machine and dishwasher for peace of mind. There are also other smart devices now on the market that will detect and notify you of unexpected increases in water use or volume.
If you have a sump pump, you should also have a battery backup system in case the power goes out.
If you’re on a municipal sewage system, consider installing a backflow valve on your sewer pipe. This simple yet effective device will prevent sewage from entering your home if the sewers are clogged or flooded.
If you live in a flood plain, near a river or other major waterway there are steps you can take to help protect your home from damage.
The first thing to do is make sure there are no cracks in your foundation. Inspect the entire perimeter from the outside, and inside if the basement is unfinished. Call in a contractor for remediation options if you do spot any gaps.
If you have below-grade windows, there are covers you can install over the window well. There are also reusable, absorbent barriers you can buy to place in front of doorways or other areas where water may get in.
If you’re in an area where overland flooding is a risk, you need to be prepared for an emergency evacuation order. Make sure you have enough gas in your car to get out of the flood zone. Prepare an emergency bag with essentials including cash, your passports, insurance info and other important documents, medicine, non-perishable food, water, a flashlight and a first aid kit.
To protect yourself from any type of flooding, never store important documents or other valuables in the basement.
Find more tips on how you can protect your home from flooding and assess your flood risk at water.cooperators.ca