One of the best ways to keep your Calgary home insurance low is to take every possible step to avoid filing a damage claim. As was proven this past spring, southern Alberta is prone to flooding, and as a homeowner, it is your responsibility to protect your property to the best of your ability. Fortunately, there are many simple tasks you can perform both outside and inside your home to avoid water damage and decrease the likelihood that you will ever need to file an insurance claim.
Calgary Home Insurance: Outdoor Preventative Steps for Avoiding Water Damage
When it comes to your home’s exterior, your primary focus should be on ways to safely and effectively direct rainwater away from your home and prevent it from collecting in a dangerous area. This requires careful monitoring and maintenance of three major home systems: your roof, your downspouts, and your doors and windows.
You must make sure your roofing is in excellent condition. Promptly repair any damaged shingles or roofing panels, and ensure that you have adequate ventilation between your roof and your attic. This prevents moisture from building up in your home’s upper reaches, which dramatically reduces your risk for suffering water damage or developing toxic mold. Finally, if possible, clear excess snowfall. Here in Calgary, we tend to get a number of very heavy snowstorms each winter; the rule of thumb to follow is that more than one foot of snow accumulation should be cleared off your roof.
Your eavestroughs and downspouts should always be clear and free of clutter to facilitate the efficient drainage of rainwater. Most people clean them once in the spring and once in the fall, though you may want to increase the frequency if any tree branches hang over your roof.
Finally, make sure all windows and doors are properly sealed. Your basement windows should also have window wells so rainwater drains away from them.
Here are some other things to consider in regards to your home’s exterior:
- Test your downspouts once a year to make sure they’re draining properly
- Add negative-slope grading around your home to facilitate drainage
- Use downspout extensions
- If your driveway slopes downhill, install protective features to divert rainwater away from your home
- Have your home’s septic system pumped clean and inspected on a regular basis
Calgary Home Insurance: Indoor Preventative Steps for Avoiding Water Damage
Inside the home, your basement is the most prone to water damage. Thus, it is the single most important place to protect. Follow these tips to avoid water damage in your basement:
- Add a back-flow valve to your home to prevent water from seeping in through the sewer system
- Add drains to your basement floor and keep them clear at all times
- Do not store valuable items on the floor of your basement
- Cut back on water consumption during periods of heavy rainfall
Here are some further strategies for avoiding water damage to use throughout your home:
- Check all foundation walls and basement floors for evidence of cracks or gaps, and seal any you find
- Install shut-off valves in any sinks, tubs and drains that lack them
- Inspect your dishwasher and washing machine to see if there are any tears in their supply hoses, and replace them if you find any
- Inspect your plumbing system for any evidence of corrosion, warping or cracking of pipes
- Never pour fats or oils down your sink drains
Finally, Calgary home insurance professionals recommend that you check your hot water storage tank regularly to make sure it is not corroded. This can prevent leaks or spills that would otherwise cause major damage.
Discover the Lane’s Insurance Advantage
It is a good idea to review your Calgary home insurance coverage on a regular basis to make sure it’s up to date and that all your valuables are protected. You should also report flood and water damage prevention measures to your insurer so they know you are taking a proactive stance to protect yourself.
If you have any questions about Calgary home insurance, or if you’re looking for a fast, competitive quote, visit us at Lane’s Insurance. We are a full-service brokerage that specializes in protecting homeowners through affordable, comprehensive insurance products.