Protect Your Home: Simple & Inexpensive Tips For Protecting Your Basement From Flooding

Do you assume that because you live at the top of a really big hill or that since you’ve never had an issue before that your property is safe from basement flooding?

Think again.

There will always be a chance that flooding in your basement will happen.  How is this possible?  There are a few basic reasons.  Among them is the aging sewer infrastructure throughout Canada that is leading to cracked underground sewer pipes which causes a constant flow of groundwater into the system, and in return reduces the ability of the sewage system to handle heavy rain.  Another cause, which only adds more challenges for this aging system, is the increase in frequency and intensity of heavy rainfall events that are being predicted to occur more often in the future due to climate change and global warming.

So how can you protect your property?  The list below includes simple and inexpensive tips for helping to protect your basement from flooding…even if you live on a hill!  Hope they help.


  1. Visit your local municipal government’s website or contact the public works, utilities or building department to find out about basement flooding in your community.
  2. Hire a licensed plumber to conduct a detailed plumbing investigation on your home. (This is especially a good idea if you are installing any basement flood reduction devices or altering the drainage inside or outside of your home).
  3. Check your insurance policy to see what it covers, many Canadians aren’t covered for damages caused by overland flooding or infiltration flooding.  Talk to your insurance provider or broker about purchasing extra insurance.
  4. Avoid pouring fats, oils and grease down your drains.
  5. Keep storm sewer grates clear.
  6. Seal cracks in foundation walls and basement floor; seal any gaps between doors and window frames to reduce the chances that water will seep between the door or window and the wall.
  7. Reduce home water use during heavy rainfall.   This will reduce the stress on the sewer system and reduce the chances of you (and your neighbours) having backup problems.
  8. Maintain eavestroughs and downspouts, make sure to keep them clean!
  9. Avoid storing items directly on the basement floor (in the event of flooding at least you will have some protection of your valued items).
  10. If you’ve experienced flooding speak to your municipality as they can use the information to find solutions and carry out work to reduce the risk of flooding in your neighbourhood.

For more information on what you can do to protect your property check out this publication from the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction.

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