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Charlie Glahe WIN Broomfield

Canadians say water damage is an all too common problem

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Unlike the U.S., Canada isn't a country that's known for being impacted by flooding on a regular basis. However, for a considerable number of people who live in the country, they may say otherwise, based on the frequency  at which insurance claims are filed due to water damage.

According to property insurance provider Aviva, it's estimated that 40 percent of all the home insurance claims made in the country relate to water damage. In Canada, overland flooding isn't covered by insurers, but they do provide for water damage caused by other sources, such as broken water pipes or burst valves.

The damage that's caused by water is significant. The company says that since 2002, claim cost totals have risen 117 percent jumping from an average of $7,200 to more than $15,500 last year.

Wayne Ross, vice president of property claims, indicated that many people in Canada today are putting much of their hard-earned money toward renovating their basements. Unfortunately, when water damage occurs, this is the part of the house that's often impacted the most significantly.

"We strongly encourage homeowners to take matters into their own hands in order to protect their homes," said Ross.

Three in four American homeowners want a basement
U.S. homeowners are similarly fixated with their basements. In a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders, the overwhelming majority of young home buyers - 76 percent - said that they preferred that their properties have a cellar before deciding whether or not to buy it.

Though a basement may be the farthest room from the roof, the covering of the home is one of the first portion of the home that should be given a comprehensive home inspection in order to avoid water damage to the home overall. As a general rule, roofs should be thoroughly inspected by a licensed, trained professional every three years or so.

The Canadian property insurer provides homeowners with some other tips that they ought to make a standard part of their home maintenance schedule.

For example, gutters can lead to water damaged if they're gummed up with dirt debris. It's smart to have these gutters cleaned out on a seasonal basis so that blockages don't lead to collected rain water leaking into the home.

Insurance experts also recommend installing a backwater valve, check for cracks in the foundation if water is pooling in portions of the cellar and to move valuables that are vulnerable to water damage to a place in the home where they're less likely to be affected.