Water and Flooding

inInsurance

Water, Water Everywhere

In 2009, Ottawa had a very damp summer. It was mostly an inconvenience for those who love the outdoors but the volume of rain that fell became an issue.

For the farmers around Ottawa there was too much water and crops were being spoiled by the deluge we saw in July.  This meant less local produce in our stores, which was disappointing and more expensive for the consumer.

The other issue was basement flooding. Some folks in lower areas were getting water coming into their homes through their foundations and that problem caused a run on contractors who repair and waterproof foundations, and a run on the sale of submersible sump pumps as well. This kind of damage may or may not be covered by home insurance, depends on what insurance the homeowner purchased.

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The other more fun issue that arose was backing up sewer systems. This is where the drains in the basement of the house “backs up” and the sewer instead of taking water away from the house, does the opposite and brings the sewer contents into the basement. This damage was much worse and may not be covered under most insurance either (you need to check closely in your documentation).

This kind of backup is very bad because not only are your basement contents ruined by the water, you have contamination of your basement by “sewer contents” (if you catch my drift). Your basement becomes a Bio-Hazard and you may not be allowed back in your house until it is cleaned up.

Evidently there is a “valve” device that you can put on your basement drain (the one in the floor of your foundation) that will attempt to stop this kind of “back up”. If anyone cares to comment on the insurance side of things, or the preventive measure of this valve, please feel free to add your comments in.

Read your home insurance and weigh the value of getting coverage for home flooding.

{3 comments}

  • GregoryJuly 29, 2009, 6:43 PM

    Regarding backflow prevention for the basement floor drain, I found them at Canadian Tire (after a house inspector made a recommendation to get one).

    Reply
  • CanadianInvestorJuly 28, 2009, 5:14 PM

    Just finished digging a large hole on the outside wall of my basement to fix a tiny crack in the wall … arghh! Fortunately, only a little water got in, not enough to trigger the water sensors connected to the alarm system, which was installed after an internal toilet drain pipe spilled smelly stuff all over the basement and caused a very expensive cleanup. The minor repairs aren’t worth claiming on insurance but insurance sure is necessary for the big ones!

    Reply
  • MNDJuly 28, 2009, 10:26 AM

    http://www.backwater-valves.com/Backwater-Valve-Diagram.asp

    This is a good look at these types of valves, and their relation to the street sewer system elevations.

    Reply

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