Did you know that water damage is the leading cause of home insurance claims?
Here are some tips on preventing water damage which can keep your home insurance premiums low!
Outside your home
Twice a year, check the condition of your roof. If it's more than 20 years old, have it examined by a professional. Ensure downspout extensions are directed at least 1.8 metres away from your home's foundation walls. In addition, make sure the water isn't directed towards your neighbour's home. Downspout extensions should be moving away from your house towards the road or back yard. Clean them by removing dead leaves from eaves troughs in the fall, and make sure they are not clogged. Examine your doors and windows caulking and basement window walls, make sure no water has accumulated. In the fall, turn off the water supply and drain garden hoses. Make sure there are no leaks. Once a year, check your foundation walls for cracks and seal any immediately.
Inside your home
Make sure everyone who lives in the house knows where the water entry point is located. Never leave the house when your washing machine and dishwasher are on. Check the condition of the water faucets. If your hot water tank is over 10 years old, consider replacing it; otherwise, inspect it regularly.
If you're away from home for several days during the winter, adequately heat your home to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting. Turn off the water and drain the pipes and ask someone to keep an eye on your home if you're away for more than four days to make sure that, among other things, your heating system is working.
Have your sump pump and mainline backflow valve and In-pipe valve verified. The backflow valve is a mechanism that prevents water overflow from a municipal sewer from backing up into the basement of your home. The backwater valve closes automatically when sewers back up. The in-pipe valve prevents waste water from backing up into your basement. However, it won't prevent waste water from backing up into basement sinks, toilets, showers and laundry tubs. Have these systems checked by a plumber to make sure they are working well. Check with your municipality whether there's a by-law that requires the mainline backflow valve mechanism to be installed.
Aristotle Sclavounos is a damage insurance broker at Aspler, Joseph, Jutras Inc. He can be reached at 514-625-8429 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.