Heavy Rain in Canada: What you can do & What coverage you need
In heavy rainfall, raindrops averaging 5mm in size can travel at about 32 km/h.1
Heavy rain causes the most damage when it leads to flooding (this is most likely to happen when the ground is frozen or soaked from previous storms or the spring thaw). But even without flooding, heavy rain can still cause serious damage to your home. Follow the tips below for guidance on how to protect your property and check out what coverage options you need to consider to ensure you're protected.
What should you do before there’s heavy rain?
In and around your home, preventing storm damage starts with regular year-round maintenance to detect and fix areas where water could enter. Here are some things you can do to help prevent storm damage to your home:
Keep your eavestroughs and downspouts clean and draining properly. Each spring and fall, clear leaves, twigs and other debris from your eavestroughs and downspouts. This prevents clogs that can cause water to back up and enter your home through your roof. To reduce the amount of debris that collects, install gutter covers and keep nearby trees trimmed back. Ensure your eavestroughs slope gently towards the downspout, and the downspout directs the water well away from your home.
Make sure surface water drains properly. The trick here is to keep water flowing away from your house. If you notice water pooling anywhere around your foundation, correct the slope to redirect the water. Give the water somewhere safe to flow (e.g., your garden), so it doesn’t flow into your home!
Keep your roof in good repair. An asphalt-shingle roof in Canada can last anywhere from 15 to 30 years. Call in a roofer to perform regular maintenance as required and have them let you know when your roof is nearing the end of its life expectancy. Check for loose or damaged shingles and watch for signs that water is leaking into your home. These signs include water stains in attic space, bubbles and cracks in walls and ceilings, and warps in the drywall. If it’s time to replace your roof, consider having your roof deck waterproofed at the same time. This extra step provides additional protection against storm related damage from water.
Protect the inside of your home. Sealing and waterproofing basement walls can help to prevent seepage. Ensure floor drains are kept clear to minimize any damage from water entering your home. Devices like a sump pump can help remove foundation water so it doesn’t enter your home. You may also want to consider installing a mainline backwater protection valve in the sewer line to help keep wastewater from backing up into your home.
Prevent water damage to your belongings. Store valuables in a safe and dry place. If you keep valuable property in a crawlspace or basement, store it off the floor and in waterproof containers so that it's protected in case a significant amount of water enters your home. If you’re thinking about installing a safe, choose one that’s waterproof. If you already have a safe but it isn’t waterproof, install it in an elevated position to protect it from potential damage. Make sure your furnace, water heater and electric panel are mounted above floor level, too.
What can you do during heavy rain?
It’s best to stay indoors during a rainstorm, if only to keep yourself dry and comfortable. This is a great time for books and family games. If you hear thunder outside, consider unplugging your TV, computers and gaming gear, as a lightning strike could cause a damaging surge of electricity in the power lines. You may also want to avoid using water, as this can contribute to overwhelming your drainage system. And you may want to do periodic checks in your basement and around your windows and doors for any incoming water. That way you can quickly mop up any water getting into your house and prevent further damage, including the growth of mold.
What should you do after heavy rain?
The aftermath of a storm gives you the perfect opportunity to diagnose maintenance problems around your home. Check your house from the basement up to see if there are any signs of storm damage (e.g., water leaks) as described above.
Does insurance cover water damage from rainstorms?
Yes, you can purchase coverage for water damage from heavy rain as add-ons to your home insurance policy. At TD Insurance, you have the choice to add Extended Water Damage coverage which will help cover below-grade seepage, sewer backup and sump overflow in addition to other perils. If, however, you're worried about water getting into your home through the roof or openings in your walls, consider purchasing Above Ground Water coverage. These coverage options work together with your base home insurance policy to better protect you and your family.
Has a heavy rainfall caused damage to your home, or are you simply interested in more information? We’re ready to help. You can start a claim through our mobile app or speak with one of our TD Insurance Claims Advisors by dialing 1-866-454-8910, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In addition to starting a claim, you can get access to our network of restoration contractors to help you make your home safe and mitigate further damages.
Alternatively, you can also log in to MyInsurance to review and manage your policy, or to chat securely with one of our insurance advisors for answers to your coverage questions.
Looking to switch to TD Insurance? Get started with a quote to see what a TD Insurance home insurance policy can look like for you.