Tips for Summer Storm Season
Saskatchewan has already faced a few storms and we are likely going to get more. The extreme heat of July and August often brings on severe thunderstorms and heavy rain showers. With the threat of these storms on the horizon we wanted to warn our customers to protect their homes from the extensive, costly and rather disgusting damage of sewer backup.
The best protection from a sewer backup loss is to have a sewer backwater valve professionally installed in the main sewer line of your house.
These summer storms that bring heavy rainfalls increase the likelihood of a sewer backup loss. Any time a sewer system becomes overloaded a sewer backup can occur. Heavy downpours of rain often fill the sewer systems beyond capacity leaving homeowners without preventative measures exposed to this damage.
There are a few steps that homeowners without backwater valves can take to prevent a sewer backup loss. If your downspouts drain into your basement sewer system we highly recommend you remove them and have them drain outside your dwelling. We also recommend having your downspouts extend away from the foundation of your home.
During rainstorms keep the caps on all basement sewer outlets; such as your floor drain, washer stack and sump hole. If you do not have a sump pump and pit we recommend installing one to discharge drainage out onto your lawn or driveway. Ensure that surface water is directed away from the foundation of your home.
Regardless if you have a backwater valve or not we recommend that you avoid using water during heavy downpours. Washing your dishes, doing the laundry, having a shower, or even flushing the toilet during a storm could push the flapper of your backwater valve open. Also conserving water usage as a community can cut the amount of water the sewer system has to handle and can reduce the risk of overflows. If the system is overloaded you are more likely to experience a sewer backup loss.
Check your basement often during heavy rainstorms. If your basement begins to flood do everything you can to minimize the damage. Move any belongings you can upstairs or to a safe and dry space. Contact our office or your claims center directly so we can get an adjuster out to you.
Keep in mind that when there is a large storm there is a large amount of claims. The adjusters prioritize which homes they visit first by the magnitude of the damage. If somebody can no longer live in their house due to the extent of their damage they will take priority over someone who can still live in their home.
Take photos of the damage. You can begin to clean up after that. Do not throw anything away. Store your damaged items in a reasonably safe place so the adjuster can see them when they arrive. Prepare an inventory of all damaged items and include the values. If you do need to throw items away as they are contaminated by sewer backup and may be a health hazard please make sure to have photos and an inventory of those damaged items first.
If any appliances come into contact with the sewer backup have those appliances checked by a professional. We recommend contacting a restoration company to come in to clean or even to give you advice on how to properly cleanup yourself. Everything will need to be thoroughly disinfected and this can take a lot of time and effort.
If you are interested in protecting yourself from sewer backup please consider having a back water valve installed in your home. Some insurance companies will even give you a discount on your home insurance if you have one. Our brokers are available to help you if you have any questions!
In Regina In Saskatoon
(306) 525-0888 (Broad) (306) 244-7000 (3rd Avenue)
(306) 525-0777 (Quance) (306) 244-3000 (51st Street)
(306) 525-0113 (Albert)