Recent storms and more wet weather predicted for the coming weeks has SGI CANADA warning homeowners to protect their home from sewer back up, which can be a devastating and costly loss. The best form of protection from sewer back up is to have a sewer back water valve professionally installed on the main sewer line of their house.
“When you have a sewer back up in your home, you’re dealing with raw sewage seeping into every nook and corner of your basement, damaging or ruining everything it touches – your walls, your carpet, your furniture, your electronics – the list goes on and on. It can be extremely labour intensive and costly to clean up that damage,” said Don Thompson, VP of Product Management with SGI CANADA. “Homeowners may not realize they are vulnerable – but it’s actually a very common problem in our province, and one you can avoid if you take the proper steps like installing a sewer back water valve.”
When the volume of water and sewage flowing into a sewer system exceeds its capacity, a sewer back up can occur. Heavy rain increases the likelihood of a sewer back up for homeowners who have not taken preventative measures.
In the past five years an average of 5,500 Saskatchewan homeowners insured by SGI CANADA have experienced a sewer back up loss. An average pay out is $25,000 per claim, and SGI CANADA paid $140 million in sewer back up claims over the last five years.
“Installing a back water valve requires an initial investment which will vary depending on the configuration of your basement, but ranges from $1,500 to $3,000. While that may deter a homeowner, the payoff is worth it,” Thompson said. “Think of it as home maintenance. You shingle your roof to protect your home from water; installing a back water valve on your main line is a similar protection.”
Protecting your home
For homeowners that do not have a back water valve, there are steps they can still take to help prevent a sewer back up:
- Keep sewer caps on all basement sewer outlets (including your floor drain, washer stack, sump hole, etc.) during rainstorms.
- Install a sump pump and discharge drainage onto your lawn or driveway.
- Disconnect all rainwater downspouts from your basement sewer system and cap disconnected standpipes.
- Extend all rainwater downspouts away from the foundation of your home.
- Ensure the flow of surface water is directed away from the foundation of your home and the foundations of your neighbours’ homes.
- Avoid using water during heavy downpours.
“At SGI CANADA, we believe in the preventative value of a back water valve – so much so that we offer our customers a 10 per cent discount on their sewer back up premium if they have one installed,” Thompson said. “It’s an investment you won’t regret.”
Visit the Prevention tips page for more information about loss prevention or talk to your insurance broker.
About SGI CANADA
SGI offers its competitive property and casualty insurance products through SGI CANADA and its subsidiaries: SGI CANADA in Saskatchewan, SGI CANADA Insurance Services Ltd. in Alberta, Manitoba and British Columbia, and Coachman Insurance Company in Ontario. It sells its products exclusively through independent insurance brokers in all jurisdictions. Visit SGI CANADA at www.sgicanada.ca.
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Manager of Media Relations