Calgary, AB,

Flood impacted homes and businesses must heat this winter

The City is urging flood impacted homes and businesses to safely heat their property this winter to prevent further flood damage.  Excess moisture in the ground from this year’s flood increases the risk of structural and water service damage to a property left unheated.
“An unheated property might allow moisture to freeze in and around the foundation, creating what is known as frost heaving,” notes Marco Civitarese, Chief Building Inspector with Development & Building Approvals. “Frost heaving can crack or even lift your foundation, causing structural damage that can leave owners with costly repairs in the spring.”
Properties should always be safely heated using a furnace, or other gas fired heating appliance.  Installing a carbon monoxide detector on each floor is also strongly recommended.
Frozen water lines and even breaks are another real risk to an unheated property this winter. “It doesn’t take much for a water line inside a property to freeze, if the furnace isn’t working,” says Chris Huston, Field Services Manager with Water Services.  “A frozen water line can quickly lead to a break that can cause extensive water damage to a property.”
The Canadian Red Cross might be able to help home owners still without a furnace with its Winter Emergency Heat Program. Qualified home owners can be assisted with the installation of a furnace and hot water tank.  For more information contact the Canadian Red Cross at 1-866-696-6484.
Those unable to restore heat or considering demolishing their property are encouraged to contact 311, to discuss their properties situation in more detail.  “If you can’t heat the home, we suggest you turn the water off inside your property by using the main shut-off valve, and drain your taps, toilets and traps of water,” notes Huston.  “You should then contact 311 to arrange for a voluntary water service disconnection.”
The City is also asking neighbours aware of an unoccupied property to contact 311, and anyone worried about the welfare of a neighbour can contact 211 for more information.
For more information regarding unoccupied properties, and tips to prevent further flood damage caused by frost heaving visit or contact 311.