June 20, 2015
We all protect our home from fire and smoke, but what about water damage? The Home Insurance experts at BCAA offer eight excellent tips to avoid a costly mess
Water damage is one of the most common and costly challenges facing BC homeowners. The frequency and severity of water damage claims continue to grow due to extreme weather, more complex appliances and the growing popularity of condensed multi-unit living.
Most insurance policies do not cover water damage caused by continuous or repeated seepage, rising ground waters or surface waters – but sudden, while accidental, escape of water from a watermain, plumbing, heating system or internal drain are usually covered. Water damage resulting from a private external drain or entry of water through an opening in your roof are usually not covered and depend on your policy; additional coverage can be purchased for either event to provide you with protection needed.
A few simple precautions can help to safeguard your home and possessions from water damage:
- Install water alarms. They work like smoke detectors but warn of leaks from toilets, water heaters, overflowing baths and sinks. Simply place near any water source and a high-pitched alarm alerts you to water leaks. Water alarms start from as little as $15 a unit.
- Install stainless steel-braided hoses where possible. These hoses cost around $20 and are less likely to deteriorate than plastic hoses. Dishwasher and washing machine hoses should be inspected and replaced every three to five years.
- Use a rain barrel. Rain barrels keep rainwater out of overloaded storm sewer infrastructures and provide you with water for your garden. Check if your municipality has a program that offers subsidies for a rain barrel purchase.
- Connect an eavestrough downspout extension. Extend the eavestrough at least six feet from foundation walls to prevent water from draining into your basement, and direct it towards the street. Downspout extensions cost around $15.
- Check the foundation. As ice melts or after heavy rain, clear any pooling water away from the home.
- Inspect the roof. Get the roof inspected every few years to check the condition of the shingles and replace when necessary in order to prevent leaks.
- Test the sump pump. If the basement has one, examine it and conduct a test run especially if it doesn’t get used frequently.
- Protect your valuables. Consider moving valuables away from high-risk areas, such as the basement, or place items on high shelves or risers, especially in homes prone to water damage.