Home Flooding Mitigation Techniques Flooded basements can happen all too easily and often without warning. Learn how to prevent or limit water damage and what to do if water floods your home. 6 Common Causes of Basement FloodingUsing a sink or toilet to improperly dispose of materials such as fats, oils, grease and diapersTree roots growing through cracks in the waterlines and causing blockagesOverloaded sewer and storm water infrastructure that leads to a sewer backupFrozen water pipesVandals blocking sewer linesIllegal hook-ups that allow excess water into the lines – outside stairwell drains, sump pumps, downspouts and drain gutters should never be connected to the sewer system.9 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Water Damage RiskKeep all floor drains clear of obstructions.Arrange to have someone check your property if you are away from home for more than 3 days.Ensure that there is proper grading around your home.Install a sump pump.Install backflow valves or plugs for drains, toilets and other sewer connections, to prevent sewer water from entering your home.Store important documents and irreplaceable personal objects (such as photographs) where they will not get damaged.During the winter, if you are away for more than 3 days, drain the plumbing or arrange to have someone come in daily and check that your heat is still on.Elevate furnaces, water heaters and electrical panels in the basement on masonry or relocate these objects.Avoid finishing areas like basements that may be prone to flooding.Each insurance policy is different. If you are uncertain about what is covered in your policy or would like more information about optional coverage, contact your insurance representative.What to Do If Water Floods Your HomeBe careful! Do not turn on any electrical switches until a licensed electrician checks your electrical system. If you have gas service, check for fumes. If you notice an odour, call the gas company immediately. Remember, carbon monoxide (CO) is odourless, tasteless and deadly. Ensure you have a CO alarm in your home.Protect your property. Take action immediately. Board up holes or shut off water supplies to ensure your belongings are not damaged further. Move items out of wet basements and away from flooded parts of your home. Save receipts for materials you use. If the loss is covered by your policy, your insurance company will cover any reasonable costs associated with protecting your property.Call your insurance representative as soon as possible. She or he will work with you to ensure the damage is assessed, the insurance company is notified and you are compensated as quickly as possible if the loss is covered by your policy.Be aware of health hazards. During a flood cleanup, the indoor air quality in your home may appear to be the least of your problems. However, failure to remove contaminated materials and reduce moisture and humidity can present serious long-term health risks. Standing water and wet materials are a breeding ground for micro-organisms such as viruses, bacteria and mould. They can cause disease, trigger allergic reactions and continue to damage materials long after the flood. Filing an Insurance ClaimSometimes life happens. If you’ve been in a collision or if your home has been burglarized or damaged in some way, you’ll want to get your life back to normal as quickly as possible.Personal Property InventoryDo you know how much your possessions are worth?Home Insurance: Is Yours Up to Date?Protect your most valuable asset. Make sure your home insurance is up to date with the checklist and tips in this brochure.Home Insurance – Q&AQuestion to ask your insurance representative. Related ServicesGradingThe area next to your foundation becomes susceptible to water damage as the soil slope degrades. Improving the grade or angle of slope on your property can help improve water drainage, as well as prevent flooding and associated damage.Rain BarrelsRain barrels can reduce water consumption by 27,000 litres per growing season. Installation is easy with IBC’s tips.Backwater ValvesSewage in a basement or on a ground floor is a mess. Installing a backwater valve can prevent sewers from backing up and may make you eligible for a rebate.Roof ProtectionYour roof plays an important role in protecting your home and its contents. Damage to a roof caused by hail or wind is usually covered under a home insurance policy. Hire a licensed roofing contractor for repairs, replacement and advice on appropriate roof materials.DownspoutsAcross Canada, many municipalities have mandatory, volunteer or rebate programs to encourage homeowners to disconnect their downspouts from the sewer system. Directing rainwater away from sewers has economic and environmental benefits. Here’s how to disconnect your downspouts.Oil Tank CareWithout proper insurance, if your oil tank spills or leaks you could be 100% responsible for cleanup costs – which average $250,000 to $500,000 but can be even more. As a property owner, you are responsible for the year-round maintenance of this potential environmental hazard. Useful LinksBuying Home InsuranceAs a homeowner, you need to insure your house for replacement costs so that in the event of serious damage or destruction you have adequate coverage. Be sure to keep your home insurance current by reporting material changes or upgrades.Home Inventory ApplicationA current inventory of your belongings makes it easier to file a claim. Keeping your records off-site is wise in case a fire or flood damages your property. Consider updating your home inventory each spring and advise your insurer of any major purchases.DisasterAm I covered? When can I start to rebuild? In the wake of a disaster, there are many questions to consider. ICLRThe Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR) is a world-class centre for multi-disciplinary disaster prevention research and communications.