How to safeguard your property against water damage

A bucket on the living room floor collecting water from a leak.

Floods and various water events like heavy rainfall can happen at any time of the year. Depending on where you live, rapid ice melt and ice damming may cause water damage to your home too.

Safeguarding your home includes but not limited to inspecting your perimeter landscaping and installing a sump pump or flood shields on basement windows and doors.

Follow this checklist to help safeguard yourself against any potential water damage and do the necessary work to help protect your home year-round.

  1. Have your roof checked for damage like cracks or missing shingles. Summertime is the best time to make any necessary repairs.
  2. Inspect the landscaping around the perimeter of your home to ensure it slopes away from the property so surging water doesn’t have an easy access route.
  3. Keep important documents and valuable possessions out of the basement, or in waterproof or airtight containers. The last thing you need to worry about in case of water damage is losing something that’s hard or impossible to replace. 
  4. Consider installing a sump pump to draw water away from the low-lying areas of your property. A sump pump will help protect the structural integrity of the foundation and is your best bet to get rid of the water entering your home. Make sure that the pump empties down-slope at least 1.5 meters away from the exterior wall of your home.
  5. Consider installing a backwater valve to keep raw sewage from coming through the drains of the overloaded sewage system. The valve is especially essential if your home sits at the bottom of a slope, with other homes and a sewer line running up the street. When water flows the opposite way from the sewer towards your home, the valve floats up to block it.  
  6. Consider installing flood shields on your basement windows and doors if you live in an at-risk area. The top edge of the shield should rise at least two feet above ground level or previous flood height. Reach out to your local municipality for precise information about the risk of flooding and overland water in your neighbourhood.
  7. Ensure snow is removed around your home, doors and basement windows.
  8. Ensure street catch basins are not blocked: These prevent snow from building up on street level and seeping towards your property.
  9. If your home is prone to water damage, consider moving valuables away from high-risk areas, such as the basement.

From melted snow to broken pipes, water damage can ruin your home and personal belongings, not to mention your vehicle which can be affected by the cold.  

Although most homeowners’ insurance policies help guard against unexpected leaks, certain types of water damage may not be covered. When choosing a homeowner’s insurance policy, be sure to ask your insurance representative which coverage is best for you.

Visit to learn how the right insurance coverage can help your property.

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