With Spring comes Water!
Spring is here and with it comes the inevitable showers and the water claim season will be upon us once again. Here are some timely tips to help you keep your home and business dry and water damage free -
Install flood-proofing devices, such as back-water valves, sump pumps, floor drains or caps, and check these items routinely to ensure they are working properly. These types of loss control and mitigation initiatives are very important, especially in urban centers where losses caused by weather conditions (rain and heavy snow build up) are compounded by poor drainage infrastructure;
- Clear overflowing eaves troughs and downspouts of leaves and other debris that prevent proper drainage;
- Do not finish areas of a basement that may be prone to leakage or other water damage;
- Raise any personal belongings that you have stored in the basement off the floor at least 12"; store important documents and irreplaceable personal objects (such as photographs) where they will not get damaged;
- Check the attic to ensure the floor is insulated and the condition of the roof from the inside is good;
- All attic doors located in air-conditioned spaces should be properly insulated, sealed and weather stripped, and all hidden penetrations (i.e. stack vents, partition walls, electrical chases) should be properly sealed and insulated as well.
- Check for and repair leaks in walls, floors, windows and foundations;
- Disconnect eaves trough and downspouts if connected to a weeping tile system and make sure they are draining properly, ideally 1.8 meters (six feet) from your basement walls; otherwise, water from the downspouts could leak into your basement.
- Plant trees, bushes, and other native species;
- Consider soft-surface landscaping that allows storm water to soak into the ground rather than run directly into the local sewer systems (i.e. increased sodded areas, porous pavement).
- Check storm sewers or manholes on street to make sure they are not blocked with debris and water can drain freely;
- Make sure your roof is in good condition and that shingles are secure.
- At least once a year, check that all of your windows and doors are secure and re-caulk as needed to help prevent water from seeping in.
- Create an emergency preparedness plan for your family and assemble an emergency kit for hurricanes, flood or other emergencies – flashlight and batteries, battery-operated radio, etc.
- Install a water and/or temperature (for cold months) alarm or monitoring system;
- Ensure that there is proper grading around and away from your home;
- Check that drains are clear and not clogged up with the improper disposal of materials such as fats, oils, grease and diapers; tree roots growing through cracks in the waterlines and causing blockages;
- Outside stairwell drains, sump pumps, roof leaders and drain gutters should never be connected to the sewer system.