Tips to pro­tect your home from wa­ter dam­age

The Hamilton Spectator - - REAL ESTATE - (NC)

Did you know that wa­ter is the lead­ing cause of home dam­age in most prov­inces? Just this past May, com­mu­ni­ties across the coun­try had to cope with flood­ing as heavy rain­falls hit var­i­ous re­gions over many days.

What can you do to pro­tect your home? Here, Marc Bar­beau, prop­erty claims man­ager of In­tact In­surance shares his top four tips:

1. Wa­ter-re­sis­tant dé­cor. The next time you're ren­o­vat­ing your home, ex­plore in­stalling ce­ment board in­stead of dry­wall in your base­ment. It's typ­i­cally used in show­ers and tubs and is less likely to ab­sorb wa­ter. Ce­ment boards are ex­tremely mois­ture re­sis­tant and dry quickly when wet. For base mould­ing, con­sider a formed, paintable plas­tic ma­te­rial in­stead of wood. This way, even if wa­ter gets in, your home may be able to with­stand ex­cess wa­ter and mould dam­age.

2. In­stall back­flow valves and sump

pumps. A sump pump may help keep your base­ment safe and dry by col­lect­ing and dis­pos­ing the wa­ter from your home. Al­ready have a sump pump? Think about adding bat­tery backup for times where the power is out.

When there's a heavy rain­storm, it may be­come too much for the sew­ers to han­dle, and waste can back up through floor drains, toi­lets and sinks. A back­wa­ter valve is a one-way valve that is in­stalled on the main drain of your home. In the event of a backup, the valve closes to stop sewage from com­ing in. 3. Con­sider over­land flood in­surance. It's es­ti­mated that only 10 to 15 per cent of Cana­di­ans have in­surance for over­land flood­ing. New in­surance prod­ucts can help cover this. For ex­am­ple, In­tact In­surance's en­hanced wa­ter dam­age pack­age con­sists of up to four com­po­nents: sewer back-up, wa­ter and sewer lines, over­land wa­ter and ground wa­ter. It's best that you talk to a bro­ker to en­sure you're get­ting the cov­er­age you need. 4. Keep valu­able items on higher floors. Store sen­ti­men­tal and valu­able items on the up­per floors of your home, away from the base­ment as many of these items may never be re­placed if your base­ment floods.

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