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It Could Be Your Basement… Preventing and protecting your basement from summer flooding

modern interior in Insurance caseWhen we hear about natural disasters around the world, it is a relief that we are not part of it. Living in Toronto, we are fortunate to not be located where natural disasters frequent; such as tornados, large earthquakes, wildfires etc.

But don’t forget, many houses in Toronto each year get flooded basements. It happens often in our city homes when we have a very heavy rainstorm. Many houses experience some degree of water seeping into their basements, and unfortunately, sometimes causing much chaos.

All water problems should be investigated by a professional because you don’t want the foundation of your home constantly being subjected to water damage. But there are a few steps you can take to minimize the problem and in many cases, actually prevent it.
The following is a list of what you can do outside your home to prevent most basement flooding (provided by the City of Toronto)

  • Seal cracks or openings in walls, floors, windows and foundations, and seal all window wells.
  • Clear eavestroughs and downspouts of leaves and other debris that prevent proper drainage.
  • Disconnect your downspouts from the sewer system, where feasible.
  • Make sure your disconnected downspouts are draining properly, ideally two metres (six and a half feet) from your foundation’s walls.
  • Ensure the grading around your home slopes away from the foundation wall to help drain water away from your home (without negatively affecting neighbouring properties).
  • Increase the green space around your home with native plants and shrubs and install porous pavement to help absorb rainwater and melted snow.
  • Clear debris from roadside catch basins (grates) to help water enter the storm sewer. (If it is safe to do so.)
  • Repair/replace damaged weeping tile systems.
  • Ensure drainage swales (shallow ditch) between properties are maintained and clear of obstructions.

Finally, if you experience basement flooding, call 311 immediately (24 hours a day, seven days a week in the City of Toronto). City staff will inspect the problem, assess the flooding and attempt to determine the source(s) of the flooding.

Reference: City of Toronto