Extreme weather and natural disasters pose a significant risk to home and business owners, as we’ve seen all too frequently in Alberta in recent years. Events like the major flooding of 2013 resulted in $1.7 billion in insurance claims, and the devastating Fort McMurray fires this spring have more than doubled that at $3.58 billion in insured damage. In addition to the immediate risk posed by extreme weather, these events have affected home insurance rates in Alberta.
Since there’s no way to eliminate the risk of extreme weather, the best thing that you can do is to take some precautions and minimize the risk. Following are some practical tips for protecting your home from water damage, and staying claims-free.
How to Protect Your Alberta Home from Water Damage
Extreme weather has been in the news in Alberta a lot over the last few years. Just this summer, in addition to the Fort McMurray wildfire there was record rainfall in Calgary, which resulted in several homeowners unfortunately finding water in their basements. So it’s more than worth taking a few preventive steps to protect your property from water damage, and save yourself from dealing with repairs and having to make an insurance claim.
- Install a Sump Pump with back-up power – Simple, effective, and significantly less expensive than having your basement redone after a flood, if your home has a basement, having a sump pump installed can save you plenty of headaches when the heavy rain starts falling. A sump pump collects floodwater in an underground chamber below your basement, and discharges it safely once the water level has reached a certain threshold.
- Backflow Valve – During particularly heavy rain, municipal sewage systems can become overwhelmed, and cause sewage to flow back up through drains and toilets. Naturally, a sewage flood is something we try to avoid at all costs. The good news? A backflow valve gets the job done, by closing the main drain of your home during a flood so sewage can’t flow in the wrong direction.
- Water-Resistant Construction – If you’re building or remodelling a home in a flood-prone area, consider using water-resistant construction materials to protect vulnerable rooms. Use cement board rather than traditional drywall, and plastic trim instead of wood. These materials are less prone to water damage, and less likely to develop mold if water does make it inside.
- Roof Maintenance – Protecting your home starts at the top, and staying up to date with roof maintenance should always be a priority. It’s very easy for small roof leaks to balloon into bigger problems, and minor roof damage is common when homes are hit by heavy winds or hail. Taking care of any issues right away is worth it for the headaches you’ll avoid.
Bow Valley Home Insurance
Being proactive about the most common water-damage risks is the best way to stay claims-free. When you consider the time, money, and belongings you’ll save from damaging by keeping water out of your home, preventative measures are more than worth the investment.