Heavy rain in Canada: What you can do

Car insurance Maintenance

In heavy rain, drops can travel faster than 32 km/h.*

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 and car. Follow the tips below for guidance on how to protect your property.

What should you do before there’s heavy rain?

In your home, preventing damage starts with regular year-round maintenance to detect and fix leaks. Here are some things that can help:

Keep your eavestroughs and downspouts clean. 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 damage your roof. To reduce the amount of debris that collects, install gutter covers and keep nearby trees trimmed back.

Make sure water drains properly. The trick here is to keep water flowing away from your house. If you notice water pooling in your eavestroughs, adjust them to slope gently towards the downspout for draining. Also, make sure the bottom of the downspout is angled away from your house. This will help stop water from accumulating at the foundation or entering the basement.

Keep your roof in good repair. An asphalt-shingle roof in Canada can last anywhere from 15 to 30 years. Call in a roofer if you think your roof might be near 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, bubbles and cracks in walls, and warps in the ceiling. If it’s time to replace your roof, consider having your roof deck sealed at the same time. This extra step provides additional protection against wind and water.

Protect the inside of your home. Sealing and waterproofing basement walls can help to prevent seepage. Make sure your furnace, water heater and electric panel are mounted above floor level – and put check valves in the sewer traps to keep floodwater from backing up into your home.

Store valuables in a safe and dry place. If you keep valuable property in a crawlspace or basement, store it off the floor so that it’s protected in case of a flood. If you’re thinking about installing a safe, choose one that’s waterproof. If you have a safe that isn’t waterproof, raise it to a level that will protect it from floodwaters.

Protect your car. Water can cause serious damage to your car, both mechanically and in terms of its appearance for resale. Make sure your car windows are fully closed when you park. And keep your door and window seals clean — damaged weather stripping is a common cause of leaks.

What can you do during heavy rain?

At home: 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.

In your car: If you can, try to avoid driving in heavy rain. If you do find yourself caught in a rainstorm, use extra caution. Drive slowly, leaving plenty of distance between you and the car ahead. Use your windshield wipers and defroster to improve visibility, and make sure your full headlights are on. Pull over if you feel unsafe, but avoid heavy braking (slow and stop gradually).Try to steer around standing water, as deep puddles could cause you to lose control of your vehicle, and any water that enters the car could lead to serious problems with your engine and electrical systems.

What should you do after heavy rain?

At home: 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 water leaks as described above.

In your car: If you have difficulty starting your car or if your dashboard warning lights turn on after a heavy rainstorm, these might be signs that water has gotten into your engine or fuel system. To determine if this has happened, you’ll need to consult a qualified mechanic. In the meantime, do not try to start your car, as this could worsen any damage that’s occurred. Any water in your car’s interior should be removed as soon as possible. Use a wet/dry vacuum or clean towels for this purpose. To prevent mold and bad odors from developing, park your car in a protected area and open the windows to get air circulating inside.

Readying an insurance claim or just looking for solutions following heavy rain? We’re ready to talk to you.

You can reach one of our helpful TD Insurance Claims Advisors by dialing 1-866-848-9744, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Depending on the circumstances and subject to your policy's coverage, we may be able to dispatch emergency services to provide solutions to mitigate further damage and put your safety first.

Our TD Insurance Customer Advice Centers are also available to answer your insurance coverage questions. For existing TD MyInsurance customers, click here to login and chat securely with one of our Advisors.

Alternatively, you can call us at 1-877-777-7136, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

*The Weather Channel.