Many business owners assume that if their business property hasn’t experienced flooding before then it won’t happen anytime soon. While this isn’t necessarily true, the good news is there are things you can do to help protect your building from flood damage.

The average cost of repairing a flooded basement is $40,000, but the average cost of preventing a basement flood is about $250.

According to Environment Canada, the most common type of flooding in Canada is snowmelt runoff which is caused by large quantities of water being released by melting snow. It generally happens during spring due to warmer weather, winds, and sunlight but the tips below can help protect your business property from flood damage year-round.

Outside your business property

  • Seal off your structure: Cracks in walls, windows, floors, and foundations may enable water to get in so apply waterproofing sealant as needed.
  • Make sure to remove snow in a timely manner: By removing the snow around your building’s foundation — especially near window wells — you help protect yourself from all that water when it melts.
  • Clear catch basins: Ice, snow, and debris can build up on catch basins during winter. Removing it facilitates proper drainage.
  • Clear downspouts: Downspouts should be clear of obstructions, much like catch basins. They should also extend well past your foundation.
  • Remove roof debris: Removing excess snow and debris from your roof can help prevent water from pooling and dripping near your foundation. This task can be dangerous so consider a professional service – they may also be able to clear your eaves troughs while they’re at it.
  • Consider a water pump: If water is still pooling near your foundation, it might be best to rent a pump and drain it into a gutter.

Inside your business property

  • Check your plumbing system: Verifying that your plumbing and drainage system is in proper working order can help prevent flooding in the basement of your business property. Consulting a professional is recommended.
  • Patch indoor cracks: Similar to the outside of your building, cracks in walls and pipe blockages should be fixed inside as well.
  • Keep pipes clear: An easy way to help keep your plumbing system clear is by not flushing trash down the toilet or pouring any fats or oil down the drain.
  • Install a backflow valve or sump pump: Yes, these solutions are more time consuming and costly than all the others but can be well worth it. Sump pumps collect water that accumulates around your business while backflow valves can help protect your water supply from contamination.
  • Be prepared for a power outage: Some flood prevention technology (like sump pumps) needs electricity to run so consider getting a backup power source for possible blackouts.

Your best defense against flood damage this year is preparing yourself and your business property.

By implementing these tips, you can rest easy knowing you’ve taken steps to help protect your business from flood damage. To learn more about how a tailored insurance policy can help protect you, your employees, and your business property, visit our commercial property insurance page.

This blog is provided for information only and is not a substitute for professional advice. We make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information and will not be responsible for any loss arising out of reliance on the information.