As a homeowner, it’s important to know the steps you can take to protect your home and belongings during unpredictable weather. It’s almost summer and the west of Canada has been seeing a lot of rain! We have 5 tips for keeping your home protected the best you can during these storms.
1. Direct rainwater away from your home
Eavestroughs and extensions should drain at least 1.5 metres (5 feet) away from yours and your neighbours’ home and onto a landscaped area so the water can soak into the ground.
Clean your eavestroughs, downspouts and drainage gutters of debris.
Remove needles, leaves, etc. so excess rainwater doesn’t run down the side of your house and seep into your basement. It’s good to get in the routine of cleaning these out twice a year to avoid a build up when the rain comes.
2. Protect your belongings
Move valuables and important documents out of the basement
Alternatively, store valuables in watertight plastic containers and use shelving racks to keep items off the ground. The basement is likely the first area of your home to flood.
Check your insurance policy
Damage from water is generally not covered as part of a standard home, tenant or condo insurance policy, however this type of coverage is often offered by insurers as an optional add-on. Ensure you give your insurer a call to make sure you have the coverage that you need to best protect your home and belongings.
Park your vehicle on higher ground
If your neighbourhood is located at lower ground or near a river, it’s a good idea to park your car at a higher ground location if possible when significant rain is coming or as a preventative measure if you are going out of town. If your vehicle is in an underground parkade, pay attention to alerts and move your vehicle if there is flood advisory.
3. Know how to quickly turn off your water, gas and electricity mains
Knowing how to turn these off safely may reduce damage to your property if you are directed to evacuate your home. As a homeowner, it’s a good idea to know where all the major shut offs in your home are in case of emergency situations.
4. If you have a sump pump or backflow valve, ensure it’s working
Check for any leaks or damage. These also typically do not operate without power so plan ahead and have a backup battery available.
5. Report pooled water on streets
Some cities have special devices in the storm drains that allow the water to drain slowly and not overload the stormwater system. If you see water pooling around storm drains, wait 90 mins and if it’s still not draining, contact your local non emergency line to report the issue.