Remember Snowtember? The Unforeseen risks to your home

The old saying goes: “If you don’t like the weather in Calgary, wait a few minutes”. However, a few minutes can seem like a lifetime if your house is being damaged by the unsuspected vandal, Mother Nature.

The great Alberta flood of 2013 is still top of mind when considering personal property risks. The $1.7 billion worth of collective catastrophic damage in our province no doubt leaves a lasting impression. The good news is that the City of Calgary has taken actions to mitigate future floods, such as preventing water entering storm systems, installing temporary sandbags and supplemental pumping.

But what about a more familiar liability – snow? The Calgary Emergency Management Agency lists snowstorms as the second worst disaster fear (overland flooding being the first).

In September of 2014, Calgary had the heaviest snowfall in 130 years. The City of Calgary received more calls during this event, coined ‘Snowtember’, than during the great flood. A large number of trees broke from the weight of the snowfall and houses were suddenly flooded with melting water. This is a risk Calgarians may not automatically consider, despite receiving snow up to 9 months of the year.

How can you protect your property? Firstly, be aware of flood risks:

  • Rain following snow
  • Blocked gutters
  • Excess snow on the roof
  • Cracks in the house foundation
  • Snow piled against the property
  • Warm weather following a blizzard

Here are some helpful tips to avoid a downpour disaster:


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