As evidenced by the flooding in Calgary and Toronto two summers ago, water can seriously damage property. While the cost of fixing water damage can be very expensive and in some cases not covered by your insurer, you can always take preventative measures to protect your business property from heavy rain and flooding.
Water damage prevention techniques
1. Research information: Your municipality’s website might have info on flood and sewer back-up prevention programs whose costs may be tax-deductible.
2. Sewer back-up prevention:
- Disconnect weeping tiles and install a backwater valve and sump pump.
- Make sure there’s a secondary energy source (battery or generator) for your sump pump in case of power failure.
- Detach the foundation drain from the sanitary sewer.
- Disconnect the eaves troughs and foundation drains from the sewer system.
3. Waterproof buildings and structures
a) Regularly inspect your roof and eaves troughs to make sure:
- They don’t leak and aren’t blocked.
- Downspouts extend at least 1.8 meters (6 feet) from your commercial property.
- There aren’t any water stain marks, cracks, or other penetrations.
- Seals are intact around HVAC systems.
- The flashings around skylights, chimneys or other rooftop elements are in good condition.
- Any roof electric fixtures like satellites, wiring and solar panels are waterproof and in good condition.
b) Regularly inspect walls and windows to make sure:
- The flashing and sealant of walls is stable.
- There’s no sign of water penetration or mould at the major wall joints, windows, doors, or other entrances.
- Window joints and flashings are stable.
- Weep holes aren’t clogged.
- Window glass is sealed properly.
- All locks, cranks and other mechanical elements are functioning.
- Interior walls around windows are free of mould and water.
- There’s no water or moisture build-up where walls meet the ground (flaking concrete is a sign of this.)
c) Check basements:
- For mould, water staining, and cracks on walls.
- To make sure drainage systems are working properly.
- Inspect all plumbing systems regularly.
- Repair any leaking fixtures or joints.
- Make sure irrigation systems aren’t spraying water on foundation walls.
- Fixtures attached to the exterior of your business property should be waterproofed.
- Drain any standing water.
- Inventory should be kept off the ground in water and air proof containers wherever possible.
- Regularly inspect basements or other flood-prone areas.