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April 19, 2023

Preventing spring water leaks

With spring comes a higher risk of water damage. Look around your property to make sure your home stays dry during this year’s spring showers.

At OMA Insurance, we want to help protect your assets and prevent your home from water damage. Here are some preventative tips to consider:


When temperatures rise and snow accumulation on the roof begins to melt, the risk of seepage rises. Take advantage of the warmer weather to check your roof and repair minor issues to prevent possible water damage. To do this:

  • Examine the condition of the roofing materials for signs of wear and aging (missing or loose shingles, buckling, upturned corners, etc.)
  • Make sure there is enough gravel to fully protect the layer of asphalt. Gravel prevents black surfaces from overheating and reflects ultraviolet rays, preventing premature damage to the membrane

If your roof needs to be replaced, there are shingles that are more resistant to harsh weather changes – some high-performance options are resistant to winds of up to 220 km/h, and others, such as Class-4 shingles can withstand hailstones of up to two inches in diameter.

Roof maintenance can be dangerous. If necessary, seek the help of a professional.

Gutters, downspouts and drains

During winter, the weight of the ice and snow may have weakened your gutters, and various debris may be blocking them. This is why spring maintenance is important. Here’s what to do:

  • Remove leaves that have accumulated in the gutters
  • Check that the gutters are securely attached
  • Pour water into the gutters to ensure there are no leaks and the water is escaping down the drainpipe
  • Make sure the downspouts divert water far away from the foundation

Doors and windows

Heavy rain can seep through any opening. That’s why you should do the following in the spring:

  • Inspect the seals around doors and windows to make sure they are watertight
  • If needed, repair caulking and replace weatherstripping
  • Get rid of any debris from the window wells that could prevent water from properly draining away from them


Once the ground has thawed, it’s very important to check the foundation’s condition to identify any problems and prevent damage due to water seepage. Here’s what you can do:

  • Thoroughly inspect the foundation, both inside and out. Have a specialist repair any cracks immediately
  • Seek professional advice if there are signs of efflorescence (white deposits), seepage or localized humidity. This can indicate a foundation drain malfunction (such as a clogged drain)

Drain in front of the basement garage door

The accumulation of leaves or other debris can prevent the drain from working well. Here’s what you can do:

  • Clear the drain grate in front of the door of any debris (such as leaves, ice or snow) to allow water to escape
  • Clean the drain underneath the grate so there’s no obstruction
  • Move the gutter drainpipes that empty onto the slope of the garage entryway to prevent the drain from becoming overloaded

Backwater valve to stop sewer backup

The backwater valve is part of the plumbing system and is located in the basement. Its simple open-close flap does an important job: making sure the municipal sewage system doesn’t back up into the drains. You’ll need to clean it as part of your seasonal routine for it to work properly. Here’s how:

  • Remove the cover and unscrew the access plug (note: if you have a cast-iron valve with a bolted cover, it’s best to have a plumber do it)
  • Make sure the flap opens and closes freely. Remove any debris and check the condition of the gasket
  • Replace the flap and make sure there’s nothing preventing it from opening and closing
  • Screw the access plug back on tightly and replace the cover

These precautions can help you welcome spring and avoid unpleasant surprises. But, for peace of mind, it’s best to be properly insured as well.

Need to update your home insurance policy? Now is the perfect time with OMA Insurance.

Conditions apply. The OMA Home and Auto Insurance Program is underwritten by The Personal General Insurance Inc. in Quebec and by The Personal Insurance Company in all other provinces and territories.

These tips are provided for information and prevention purposes only. They are general in nature, and The Personal cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.