Full article available on Canadian Underwriter
Amid a wave of sump pumps, backwater valves and other methods designed to keep home basements dry comes a new, simple way to mitigate flood risk – an e-sensor.
George Tsintzouras, CEO and co-founder of Canadian water tech company Alert Labs, became interested in creating such devices based on a bad experience he remembers as a property owner.
“A tenant once called me and said, ‘I forgot to tell you about a small leak that happened last month, but you’d better get over here right away because there’s a $15,000 expense and the plumber says the ceiling downstairs has caved in.’ The unfortunate part is that there were no technologies to help us understand that the problems were happening, so that we could avoid the expenses,” Tsintzouras said.
The average water damage claim costs a Canadian homeowner approximately $43,000, according to Blair Feltmate of the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation. While several commercial solutions are available to mitigate flood risk, many of them simply aren’t scalable, Tsintzouras said. Some backflow solutions require extensive retrofitting, for example, meaning that insurers have their work cut out for them if they want to convince homeowners to adopt them for their homes.
The Flowie smart water-flow sensor, on the other hand, is about $595 and takes the average person two minutes to install. “It’s literally a Fitbit for your water meter– you strap it on and walk away,” says Tsintzouras. “It connects immediately to cellular towers and monitors minute-by-minute water flow and catches leaks in pipes in your home. And it pairs with these companion sensors that look for water ingress on properties, such as water leaks in the basement foundation.”
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