Spring weather in Canada is known for being wet, cold and rainy—but your home may be at risk of flooding year-round. There are ways to help ensure your investment is protected from the costly damage a flood can cause.

Install a sump pump. No one wants to deal with sewage in their home, and a backwater valve (also known as a sump pump) will help prevent this from happening. When installed correctly, it will prevent sewage from coming through your sinks, toilets and tubs. It should also empty more than two meters from the foundation walls. Since a severe rainstorm could cause the sump pump to lose power, it’s always a smart idea to have a backup battery ready.

Clear your gutters. Keeping eavestroughs and gutters clear is key in preventing damage to the foundation of your home. Clean them regularly to free them of leaves and other debris that could clog them and create problems. While you’re up there, use the hose to test them out and ensure the water is draining away from your home.

Ensure all wiring is above flood level. This includes electrical outlets, switches, sockets and circuit breakers. They should be at least a foot above flood level to prevent potential damage.

Anchor outdoor equipment. Generators, air conditioning units and fuel tanks should also be raised above flood level and securely anchored. If left unanchored, these heavy items can break free during a storm and cause damage to your home.

Pay extra attention to the basement. Basements are always the most at risk of flood damage and require extra care. The ground in the basement should slope away from the foundation to prevent moisture issues. Also, seal any cracks in basement walls, flooring, foundations and windows. Test out the plumbing and drainage systems to ensure they’re still working properly.

Stay ahead of the weather. Knowing how much rain is coming, and when, allows you to put a plan into place and ensure you have everything you need to protect your property from any severe damage. It also pays to have a flood kit ready; this should include your emergency numbers, medications, insurance policies, any other important documents, toiletries and a change of clothes.

Insurance is key. While you can prepare and help prevent some issues, sometimes the damage is inevitable. This is why proper water damage insurance is so important. If the worst does happen, you don’t want to be fighting with your insurance provider to get the coverage you need to fix your home.