Saturday August 30, 2014

Protect homes from spring run-off


Now that spring is on its way, SGI CANADA is reminding homeowners to take steps to protect their homes from water damage due to snow melt.

“The melting we’re experiencing during the day, combined with freezing temperatures overnight, are creating ideal conditions for the formation of ice dams,” said Andrew Cartmell, President and CEO of SGI CANADA. “Ice dam coverage is not automatically included with all home insurance policies, so talk to your insurance broker to ensure you have the right coverage in place to meet your needs.”

Tips to protect your home from damage caused by ice dams include:

• Keep the amount of snow on your roof to a minimum. Use a roof rake or hire a professional to clear the snow away – for safety reasons, don’t go up on the roof yourself.

• Keep gutters and downspouts free of snow, ice buildup and icicles so there’s a ready path for melting snow and ice to drain.

• Ensure your attic is properly insulated and ventilated to prevent heat from inside your home from leaking into the attic and causing snow on the roof to melt. A roofing contractor can provide assistance if needed.

“Snow melt can also lead to other forms of water damage to homes, most commonly to basements,” said Cartmell. “Take preventative steps to minimize the risk.”

Tips to protect your home from damage caused by snow melt include:

• Shovel or remove snow from around your home’s foundation and move it where it will melt and drain away from the foundation.

• Ensure your downspouts are extended so they discharge rain or meltwater at least two meters away from the foundation.

• Check to make sure your sump pump is working. If you don’t have a sump pump, consider installing one. Contact a plumber for assistance if required.

• Consider installing a mainline sewer backwater valve to protect against sewer backup if you don’t have one.

• Check your basement regularly for signs of water.

Contact your insurance broker to check that you have the coverage you need in the event of a claim. When it comes to water damage, flooding is not covered by insurance. However, sewer backup is, provided you have the optional coverage in your insurance policy.

In the event of water damage to your home, contact your insurance broker as soon as possible to file a claim. Your broker will notify your insurer. If you insure with SGI CANADA, one of our adjusters will contact you to make an appointment to come out and assess the damage.

For additional information about preventing water damage to your home, visit SGI CANADA’s website at



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