Many of the thousands of residential water damage insurance claims made every year are avoidable. Water damage caused by everything from sewer backups, leaky roofs, burst pipes, faulty foundations and cracks in basement walls, has become a leading home insurance claim in the past few years. As a matter of fact, water damage has replaced fire as the primary source of insurance claims.
In Canada we experience quick, dramatic changes in temperature. These can cause the ground to heave and our foundations to crack. Make sure to check for cracks on a regular basis. Have them repaired by a professional as soon as they’re discovered. If you see white crystalline formations on the foundation in your basement, it’s a sign that there’s water on the other side of the wall. You will need to ensure water is draining further from the outside of the house. Seek professional assistance, if necessary.
Your property’s grade likely originally sloped away from the house. Over time this can change. With an inward slope, water will drain towards your foundation. This can be remedied with re-grading your property away from the house with new soil.
Ensure that gutters dont drip. More importantly, they need to drain onto the surface of the ground at least 2m away from your home. It’s preferable to have it drain into the native soil farther from your home than into the backfill that was added upon construction.
You likely already have a backwater valve in the drain in your basement. To find it, remove the cap from the basement floor from the ground pipes. You can actually check that it moves freely. It’s advisable to check it regularly to ensure proper functioning. If you have a sump pump, it should drain into the storm sewer.
Your basement windows are an obvious source of seepage. They need to be built properly and checked regularly. Make sure the bottom of the window well is deeper than the window by about 15cm. It’s a good idea to have a drain pipe installed which will direct water deeper and away from the foundation.