Springtime is upon us! March 19 marks the spring equinox, or the first day of spring this year. While that’s warming news for us all, there’s a downside to welcoming spring’s return: flood season.

Floods are the most frequent natural hazard in Canada.

Generally, our country’s flood season rises during the spring months when melting snow and ice, combined with heavy rainfall, increases water levels in creeks, rivers, and lakes. Although flooding can occur at any time of the year, Canada’s flood risk is highest from April to June.

While knowing what to do if your business property is flooded is important, it’s equally important to prepare your property to mitigate flood and water damage. 

Here are 10 flood prevention and management tips to help reduce damage to your property:

Business Flood Prevention Tips

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1. Know What Your Flood Risk Is

Look up your business property’s location using Canada’s flood maps to understand its flood risk. For example, use Natural Resources Canada’s flood mapping resource to view the flood hazards in your region.

2. Have a Business Continuity Strategy

Establish a business continuity plan or strategy to deal with unexpected situations like floods and other natural disasters.

3. Do Preventative Maintenance on Foundations and in Basements

Seal internal and external cracks in your foundation and basement, and install a sump pump. Also, ensure cracks around doors, windows, and utility pipes are caulked with a weather protection sealant to prevent water from leaking inside.

4. Get a Water Damage Inspection

Hire a professional water damage specialist or inspector to assess your property and make recommendations for strengthening your building’s water-resistant measures.

5. Install Flood Barriers

Have flood protection barriers installed at your property to prevent flood waters from entering your building. 

6. Utilize Landscaping to Enhance Flood Protection

Planting native plants and vegetation around your building can help prevent soil erosion and channel water away from your property.

7. Keep Eavestroughs and Downspouts Clear of Debris

Ensure your eavestroughs and downspouts are not blocked or clogged with debris to allow water from heavy rainfall to flow off your roof and away from the building.

8.Elevate Electrical Systems and Valuable Items

Hire a licensed electrician to ensure your building’s power panel and electrical components are elevated above potential flood levels, and invest in a backup power generator for your electricity needs should there be a blackout. Also, keep valuable items, documents, and computing systems elevated or located on the second floor.

9. Know How to Turn Off Utilities

If flooding is imminent, know where the shut-off valves or switches are for your building’s natural gas, water, and furnace.

10. Get Commercial Property Insurance

Commercial property insurance is designed to pay for repairing or replacing your business property, contents, and merchandise if damaged by water, fire, natural disasters, theft and vandalism up to its coverage limit. Speak to a Zensurance broker about your options for protecting your property from damages and losses.

Emergency Resources and Flood Forecasts

Most provinces provide flood and other natural disaster information updates through their respective websites that business owners can use to monitor the conditions in their regions:

Other resources on flood preparedness include:

How to Get the Low-Cost Commercial Property Insurance You Need Now

Don’t take chances protecting your property from flood damage costs and other risks. Zensurance helps small business owners quickly get low-cost commercial property insurance to safeguard their properties and contents.

Fill out our online application now for a free quote. Our brokers are business insurance experts who can get the protection you need by shopping our partner network of more than 50 insurers and customizing a policy to suit your budget and requirements.

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About the Author: Alexandria Anthony

Alexandria Anthony is the Team Lead, Property & Hospitality, at Zensurance.