This article is courtesy of the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario.

Spring is here which means Ontario will see a spike in warmer temperatures. Melting snow causes basement flooding in many homes across the province each year. In addition, Conservation Ontario deems flooding as one of the leading causes of public emergency in the province. Although impossible to control the weather, IBAO encourages Ontarians to take control of their own homes by making a few simple changes that will significantly reduce the negative effects of flood damage.

“Safe guarding your property from potential flood damages and ensuring you know what to do before and after a flood occurs is essential in the protection of yourself, your family and your property,” said IBAO President, Michael Brattman. “Talk to an insurance broker for customized advice about your home in particular. We are here to help.”

Here are some tips to protect your home and property from flooding:

– If the area you live in is susceptible to sewer back-up, make sure your home has a back-flow valve and plugs for drains, toilets and other sewer connectors installed.

– If you have an unfinished basement, we suggest you store items in plastic containers or on shelving at least 12″ off the floor.

– Ensure your window wells are clear of dirt and debris and periodically check your foundation for signs of wear, tear, and cracks. Keep eaves and downspouts clear of debris and make sure water flow is directed away from the foundation. If the building code in your area permits it, have the downspouts connected directly to your weeping tiles or sewer drain.

– Check singles, chimneys, air vent and flashing for any damage. Your eaves troughs and downspout system may have a buildup of leaves and granules from shingles over the winter, which may result in a back-up of water into your residence.

– Shovel away remaining snow from the foundation to reduce surface water during the sudden spring thaw. Areas around ground level window wells should be cleared regularly.

Questions? Give your broker a call.