Avoid a Basement Flood with These Maintenance and Inventory Tips

man fixing pipe

There are some things in life you don’t look to experience — especially when it comes to your basement flooding. If you’re like a lot of other people, you might use your basement to house an expensive home entertainment system, store old sentimental belongings, or have other things that are important to your business.

Along with damaging property, basement flooding can cause long-term health impacts to you and your family. Instead of going down that path, continue enjoying your space the way you want and make sure to follow these tips on flood maintenance, home inventory, and coverage options.

Keeping Your Basement in Order

The Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR) provides info on key areas that may require attention to reduce the risk of basement flooding to your home.

Here are some easy and free things that the ICLR has recommended:

  • Never pour fats, oils, or grease down your drains!
  • Reduce home water use during heavy rains.
  • Keep the storm sewer grates on your street clear of yard waste, leaves, garbage, ice, and snow.
  • Clean and maintain your eavestroughs and downspouts at least once a year.
  • Store anything expensive, valuable, or irreplaceable upstairs.

These are some initial steps to prevent basement flooding. However, if you have had water in your basement in the past, you need to take more significant steps to protect your home.

Before you start making any changes make sure to:

  • talk to your local municipality through public works, utilities, or building departments.
  • talk to your insurance broker to find out what types of water damage are covered under your policy.
  • get a plumber to conduct a survey of your home.

After you’ve had the chance to speak with your municipality, insurance broker, and service professional, you could also potentially invest in:

  • disconnecting your weeping tile and installing a sump-pump.
  • installing a backwater valve in accordance with your local municipality.
  • cleaning and maintaining your sewer lateral pipes.
  • installing basement window wells.

How to Determine the Worth of Your Belongings

This will require some research on your end. In terms of condominium or tenant insurance, it is very important to know the value of your possessions to determine how much coverage you want to include in your policy. With homeowners insurance, you don’t choose a coverage amount — instead your content amount is calculated as a percentage of your home value. Make sure to document and appraise any high-coverage items such as electronics, instruments, art, and business equipment.

Realistically, appraising and cataloguing all your belongings isn’t the easiest thing to do. Luckily there are plenty of inventory checklists available as a starting point for evaluation. Visit the Insurance Bureau of Canada online to use their available inventory checklist.