Written by David Silverberg
The threat of property damage due to water has long been on the minds of homeowners, real-estate developers and even rappers. In 1999, Mos Def (who changed his name to Yasiin Bey) rapped: “New World Water make the tide rise high/come inland and make your house go ‘Bye!'”
The issue has also been on the front-burner for the Toronto startup Eddy Solutions, which launched in 2015 and primarily works in the GTA region. The company created sensors the size of a child's fist that can notify a homeowner or property manager about water leaks or flooding.
That notification can come in the form of an email or ping to Eddy's mobile app, explains Travis Allan, CEO of Eddy.
Allan even needed his own company's services recently: “I was away from home for a bit and then I got a notification that water was leaking and I found out my pipes burst, so then the system automatically shut off the water, something else Eddy provides.”
What could've evolved into a headache-inducing flood only resulted “in something I could clean up with some paper towels,” Allan adds.
Water damage is a stressor affecting many homes in Canada. A report from The Canadian Institute of Actuaries found that water claims were roughly 40% or more of total claims. The report went on to state: “For some insurers, water damage claims range from 60% to 70% for Ontario and western regions. Condominium water claims comprise a much larger percentage of total claims relative to homeowners and commercial multi-peril policies; many of the respondents indicated claims from 60% to 90%.”
Nadine Evans, Eddy's director of marketing, notes that the average amount to repair a Canadian home suffering from water damage is estimated to be $16,000. For the more dire situations of flooding, the average cost to repair and remediate a flooded basement in 2018 was $43,000.
“Early detection of this kind of issue can reduce the costs of restoration,” she says.
Even more innocuous forms of human error can be of interest to prospective Eddy customers. “Often the most common alert you may get is letting you know that someone didn't turn off the tap properly, like kids who just finished brushing their teeth,” Evans says.
Allan adds, “The sky's the limit for this kind of technology. Every building needs this type of system.”
Customers can also track how water usage compares with the previous day, week, and month, and the cost of the water used.
As for what Allan finds fulfilling about his position at Eddy, he pauses for a few moments and then says, “We're solving real problems for people. We're creating value for our customers. And these people want peace-of-mind that their homes will be safe, and that's something we can help give them.”
Photo credit Zlatko Cetinic, Images Made Real