Spring Thaw: Know your Water Coverage
Overland Flooding and Sewer Backup
Spring Thaw: Know your Water Coverage. As Spring begins to shine her sleepy head, we want to equip you with some knowledge around water coverage and your home insurance policy. Also, watch for some tips on preventing flooding during the Spring thaw.
First and most importantly, review your home insurance policy and verify you have BOTH sewer backup and overland water coverage. At Beyond Insurance, we are diligent about having the water coverage conversation with our clients and aim to always educate around the benefits of full coverage. It is important to understand the terminology when it comes to water damage, especially overland flooding and sewer backup. Not having coverage for both can result in one cancelling the other out.
Here is a great definition from Wawanesa:
“What is overland flooding? This is when water literally flows ‘over the land,’ and ends up seeping into buildings through any opening — doors, windows, cracks and any open spaces. The Government of Canada calls this “one of the most frequent and costly natural hazards in Canada.”
“What is sewer backup? This is an unfortunate occurrence that often includes foul odours and other unpleasantries. Sewer backups are when water comes up through your sewer system and drain pipes, flooding into your home. This dirty water should be avoided at all costs, as it can also create health hazards for anyone in the house.”
“If you have coverage for sewer backup but not for overland water, your sewer backup coverage may not respond if you experience a backup but there has also been flood water identified inside your home.“
Now that you’ve taken the time to review your policy, please don’t hesitate to call us, your Red Deer insurance broker, and we will make sure you are fully and properly insured.
Here are some great tools for preventing flooding at your home during Spring thaw. Thanks to Wawanesa for the excellent tips!
- Call the pros: When you think of calling someone in, the dollar signs start to flash. But this is one area you don’t want to skimp on. Have a plumber inspect and maintain your drains, sump pumps and backflow prevention devices. If you don’t have a sump pump and pit along with backflow devices, strong consideration should be given to having these devices installed as soon as possible.
- Backwater valves: Install a mainline backwater valve to protect basement plumbing, including the catch basin. Make sure your backwater valve is maintained and cleaned on a regular basis.
- Sump pumps: Select the right sump pump for your home by ensuring the motor is large enough to support it. Your sump pump should have its own outlet and circuit breaker, as well as a battery backup in the event of a power failure. Consider installing a warning device to signal water build-up in your sump pit.
- Take advantage of rebates: Before installing a backwater valve or sump pump, check with your municipality for incentives or rebates related to the installation of equipment used for flood prevention.
- Landscape: Although this will need to be tackled well in advance (before snow falls), it can make a major difference to adjust the slope of your yard and direct water away from your home. Look at the shape of any flower beds and ensure they don’t allow water to pool up near the building. For some lawns and yards, this could be a major landscaping project. As an interim measure, consider the purchase of a submersible pump and hose to drain “low spots” near the foundation.
- Get ahead in colder weather: In winter, move snow away from your home’s foundation as much as possible. But first, look up and consider hiring a professional to clear any excessive snow accumulation from the roof.
- Spring into action: As the weather warms up, watch for pooling water, reconnect your sump pump hose and extend it away from the foundation. Outside, also reconnect all downspout extensions and ensure they’re free of leaves and other debris. In addition, you’ll want to ensure those downspouts are not connected to the weeping tile and are directed away from your home.
As always, please don’t hesitate to connect with us. We are happy to answer any questions you have around your home policy, as well as your auto, commercial, farm or liability policies.