Basement Flooding: Tips for homeowners

Basement flooding is a fairly common problem for many homeowners in Canada.  If you live in Toronto and have issues with flooding, this morning may have been a bit of a problem for you!   Overnight Toronto received a lot of rain – depending on where you are between 57 and 70 mm of rain.  The Don Valley Parkway was closed in both directions, Go Transit had to suspend services in a few areas, and there were other road closures throughout different parts of the City.

With this in mind – and more rain on the way – I thought it would be a good time to post a few maintenance tips for homeowners to help avoid basement flooding in the future.  Here they are, hope they help!

Basement Flooding: Tips for homeowners

  1. Check and your eavestroughs and downspouts.  Keep your eavestroughs clean!  Also make sure your downspouts are not dumping water right beside your foundation.  If they are, it drains the water directly to the weeping tile and can easily overload your home’s drainage capabilities.  Extend your downspouts away from your basement walls – and your neighbours! Ideally, you should direct them towards the street, rear yard or back lane.  
  2. Make sure your lot is graded properly.  If the land around your house slopes towards your foundation, rainwater is going to heard right towards the basement.  It’s normal for land around your house to settle over time, so keep an eye on it!  Build up the ground around your house so the water drains away from it.
  3. Consider installing a flood-proofing device.  If your home drainage system or that of the neighbourhood overloads, you may still be able to prevent rain water and sewage from backing into your basement by installing a flood-proofing device (such as a sump pump or back flow valves).  If you are going this route you should contact a qualified plumber to find out which will work best for you.
  4. Get insurance.  Many policies include or can include coverage for damage caused by sewer back up.  Make sure yours does!  Check with your insurance agent or broker to make sure you have the appropriate and adequate insurance coverage, including any extensions in coverage that may be available.

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