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April showers and how to keep dry

Guthrie Insurance

Spring means rain and snow melt runoff across the country. Here's how to keep that water outside your home not inside.

1. Install a rain barrel. It will:

Reduce the risk of surface water seeping into your home

Reduce water use and save money on your water bill

Reduce the demand for municipally treated water

Reduce sewer overload incidents in your community

Provide non-chlorinated water for your lawn and garden.


2. Install a backwater valve.

First, check that the valves, which prevent sewage from backing up from the main sewer into basements, are permitted in your municipality.

Have the backwater valve installed properly so that sewage backup will be stopped short of other water outlets in your basement, such as sinks, toilets, showers and laundry tubs. It should also be positioned to allow easy access so that you can check it to remove any material that may prevent the valve from operating properly.

3. Move valuable items out of the basement.

4. Use water-resistant building materials below ground level.

5. Install a sump pump.

6. Raise large appliances, furnaces, hot water heaters and electrical panels up on wood or cement blocks. If an item can't be raised, consider anchoring it and protecting it with a flood wall or flood shield.

7. Anchor fuel tanks to the floor. A fuel tank can tip over or float in a flood, causing fuel to spill or catch fire. Also make sure vents and fill-line openings are above flood levels. If you use propane, contact the propane company before proceeding.

8. Install flood shields or built-up barriers for basement windows and doors. The tops of the shields should extend above ground level. If flooding is imminent, shut off electricity to areas of your home that water is likely to enter.

Source: IBC Insurance Bureau of Canada

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