Flood risk training IN Ontario


Flood risk training for home inspectors coming in September
Training home inspectors to assess properties for riskof basement flooding is “most positive action” the industry can take to addressthe problem of flood-damaged homes,
a conference speaker told insurance professionalsTuesday.
A new course for home inspectors – specifically onassessing residential property flood risk – will be rolled out this September at 20 colleges in Ontario,
said Blair Feltmate, head of the Intact Centre onClimate Adaptation](http://www.intactcentreclimateadaptation.ca/) at the University of Waterloo, during a presentation at the Insurance-Canada.ca Technology Conference.
“I was floored when I found out that home inspectors in this country receive virtually no training on basement flood risk orproperty flood risk assessment,”
Feltmate told ICTC attendees at the Beanfield Centre in Toronto’s exhibition grounds.
“They receive training on roofing inspection,electricity inspection, heating, air conditioning et cetera – virtually nothing on flood.”
There are about 9,000 home inspectors in Ontario and about 40,000 Canada-wide, Feltmate added.
The course on home inspection will be rolled out Canada-wide in colleges in 2019, Feltmate added.
The course will give home inspectors “much more insight in being able to provide direction for a homeowner at the point of purchase
– what has to be corrected in this home to limit flood risk.”
The average cost of a flooded basement in Canada is $43,000, Feltmate said.
An increase since 2009 in catastrophe claims costs forthe P&C insurance industry – with basement flooding a big part of the cost –
“has now led to the growing reality of an uninsurable housing industry in Canada from Halifax to Victoria,”
Feltmate said. “Certainly for big pockets here in Toronto, we have places where people can’t get insurance coverage for flooding in their basement period,
no matter whether the source of flooding is sewer backup – the sewer system becoming over whelmed in big storms and water backing up through the sewer system
and flooding the basement that way – or over land flooding, water coming in the side window of your house.”
A course for home inspectors “is the single most positive action we can take in Canada today to protect ourselves from extreme weather events is at the level of the home itself,”
Feltmate said. “This is a highly highly solvable problem. This does not require government intervention.
The relationship between the home inspector, homeowners, the real estate associations are part of the equation, the insurers and the banks.”
One bank, which Feltmate did not name, is starting to track mortgage defaults arising from basement flooding, he said.
“People are simply defaulting on their mortgages because they are out of their homes,
they can’t afford to fix the flooded basement, they have to live some where else and the value of the house has diminishing – perhaps below the level which they actually owe on their mortgage,”
Feltmate said. “This is the formidable challenge we need to address.”

Good article Roy but I have to dispute his claim:

  • " **There are about 9,000 home inspectors in Ontario and about 40,000 Canada-wide, Feltmate added. …Really I say way less! JMO

Thanks Scott. I’m glad someone disputes it, since I really think some people underestimate what a home inspector actually does. Again just another blame game, come and get my (fear mongering) training scenario.

The other point being even getting flood insurance itself is not easy in high risk areas. As an example both of my neighbors that had flood insurance had limits of $10,000, even though they had close to $100,000 invested in a full basement remodel, prior to flooding. The first $10,000 went to remediation (cleanup), and after that they were left with their own means of fixing the other damages.

What part should the municipality take responsibility for when you have sewer backups or a failed municipal pumping system?

If you bought unknowingly in an area where flood insurance is unavailable due to seasonal flooding, sue the realtor for not fully informing you.
If you live in a flood plain area don’t expect others to pay for your decision to buy beside the pretty river.
Install a backwater valve, no sewer backups into the house.

\Ps every home being built in Ontario must file a lot drainage and stormwater plan as part of the permit process. It is up to the AHJ for “…assessing residential property flood risk” and that is done by a hydrological study and mapping of the property by a certified engineer.

Bruce good points, but let me state what has happened in the Windsor area after two major basement flooding disasters within a 6 month period.

Backwater valves in many cases failed under excessive pressure. I agree that it is good starting point, but it also has limitations.