David Fortier

By David Fortier

April 21, 2021


Homeowners, Learn How to Prevent Water Damage!

Water damage is the leading cause of home insurance claims in Quebec. Here are 14 tips on how to prevent water seepage in your home and limit ensuing damage, which can be expensive to repair.

Inside your home

  1. In your basement, install material known to be water resistant, such as bamboo or ceramic tiles. Avoid material that is easily damaged by water, such as a floating floor or linoleum.
  2. Ensure that the floor drain is not obstructed so that water can drain freely, if necessary.
  3. Install a non-return valve. If there is a heavy rainfall or public sewers are overloaded, this device will prevent waste water from backing up into your basement.
  4. Clean and inspect your non-return valve to ensure it is working properly in the spring and fall.
  5. If you have a retention tank in your basement, consider installing a battery-operated backup pump in addition to your electric pump. Why? Because power outages often occur just when we need a functional drainage pump, such as during strong storms or heavy rainfalls.
  6. Check that your pump is in good working order several times a year.
  7. Store your valuables on higher shelves or in waterproof containers.
  8. Take the following precautions if you are leaving your home for more than three days in the winter:
    • Drain the water from plumbing pipes.
    • Ask a person you trust to regularly check your residence. This person must ensure, among other things, that the heating system is working so that water doesn’t freeze in the pipes.

Outside your home

  1. Clear debris and fallen leaves from your eavestroughs. Doing so will ensure that they can direct all water to the right place, far away from the roof and foundations. Blocked eavestroughs can collapse and cause seepage through the roof or overflow, putting too much pressure on your foundation drain.
  2. Check that water from the eavestroughs is diverted at least six feet away from the foundation.
  3. Clear leaves and debris from window wells to allow water to drain properly and prevent it from seeping through your windows.
  4. Ensure that the slope of the land around your home allows water to be drained far from the foundations. A six-foot long slope is sufficient to reduce the risk of seepage.
  5. Check the condition of the footpaths, patios and parking area. In the event of subsidence, repair them promptly, otherwise water may accumulate near the foundations or seep into the house.
  6. Use native or flood- or drought-resistant plants to prevent ground erosion.

Check your home insurance policy

Does it provide basic coverage for water damage? Normally, damage associated with an indoor sanitary system (e.g. a dishwasher pipe that bursts or ruptures) or a a public watermain breakage are automatically covered.

However, some risks are covered only if you take out additional coverage against water damage to your existing policy. For example:

  • Water seepage through the roof, walls, doors or windows
  • Sewer backup
  • Ground water seepage through foundations
  • Tear-out and repair costs of the premises in the event of a water supply line breakage or sewer back-up.
  • Damage caused by flooding

To find out more about water damage coverage, consult the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s interactive tool.

Please note that La Capitale’s Personalized Form includes flexible coverage against water damage. You can choose coverage that is tailored to your needs, at the right price!

To ensure that you are adequately covered, talk to your insurance representative.

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