Posted by: Daryl & Wendy Ashby | May 22, 2010

Where is the Risk?

The greatest threat to your home is actually not fire or theft of property but water damage. 

On August 19, 2005, Toronto experienced up to 150 mm of rain in a 2-3 hour period.  The Insurance Bureau of Canada estimated $40 million of water damage claims were paid to compensate insurance policy-holders from mostly basement damage.

The City of Toronto alone spent $34 million to fix the damage.  An insurance broker recently commented that home insurance policies were originally drafted for fire damage in mind. But, with advances in home building technology, the greater worry for insurance companies is water damage.

As we move into spring and summer, water damage tends to manifest itself in two distinct ways. The first is obvious basement flooding. The second, and less obvious, is mold damage which occurs when moisture accumulates either from outside or inside and there is not sufficient ventilation to expel the moisture.

The issue with mold damage is many insurance companies will not cover damage if mold pre-existed a flood. For example, a poorly designed home may not ventilate moisture properly; a bathroom without a ventilation fan is a good example. Alternatively, the homeowner may not have used a particular room much and not noticed that mold had grown before flooding occurred.

One simple and generally unconsidered source of damage is your hot water tank. It is sort of stuffed away and forgotten. Be forewarned, if there is not a floor drain within easy reach of the tank and it leaks, your insurance will be void.

Consider putting a pan under the tank. It won’t stop a flood but if you are prudent and keeping an eye on it, you will be alerted to leakage. In addition to this, there are battery operated sensors that ly on the floor adjacent to the tank and detect moisture after which it will emit a sharp noise.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has very good tips to fight mold in your home and what to do in the event your home is flooded.

Good luck

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