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Prevent Flooding and Water Damage

February 17th, 2011 | by admin admin | in Safety Advice |    0   comments

Heavy downpours on Valentine’s Day this year not only dampened spirits, but likely broke a few hearts. Remember those precious early photos with your sweetheart and that heirloom painting stashed in your basement? Your lease contracts filed in bankers’ boxes or stored on external hard drives? Flooding or mould could ruin them.

For homeowners with damp basements, storing your important belongings – heirlooms, documents, photos – in plastic bins really helps. Cardboard boxes sitting on the floor are just asking for trouble.

This is just one of the tips offered by BCAA. The insurer also recommends taking a walk around your house during heavy rains to check where your gutters, downspouts and drainage systems may not be working well. Drainpipes that direct water toward your house are not a good idea. If you rely on a sump pump, make sure it works.

And if you spot blocked storm drains, report them to the municipality. Better yet, get out there with a shovel and rake and clear them yourself. Yes, you’ve paid your taxes, but do you really want to risk a flooded basement before the city crews arrive?

While BCAA’s advice is directed more toward residential property owners, commercial owners and managers would be wise to take preventive measures too. How are your drainage systems working? Have you checked your roofing membranes lately? Home and building owners alike need to scan ceilings and check spaces under the roof regularly for hints of water damage.

Maybe this warning comes too late and you’ve already experienced flooding. BCAA advises homeowners to

  • Disconnect all electronics and electrical equipment in the room, and move them to a safe, dry location.
  • Place your furniture up on blocks.
  • Run fans in the area affected by water damage.
  • Only use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to remove water.
  • Contact your insurance company promptly.

We agree, but -- depending on your insurance arrangements -- strongly recommend that you hire a professional restoration company that specializes in water damage. Moving quickly to dry out the damaged area completelyis the key to minimizing your costs. Once mould and rot set in, you could be dealing with issues for a long time. And that would be heartbreaking.

Author: Susanna Chu

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