Spring has arrived in the GTA, and although April was not as wet as it usually is, we can still expect some rainy days over the next couple of months. It’s all good because everything is growing and we know summer is almost here. It’s also the time to look out for basement flooding, however, and taking a few preventative steps now means you can avoid having to deal with these problems later.
Prevent Your Basement From Flooding
Clear out any build-up of old leaves from around the walls of your home. Check that all entrances and access points to the basement are free of garden debris, which could be hiding deterioration or storing moisture. Check the interior of the basement for any of the following:
- mold in corners
- warped or cracked walls
- beads of moisture
Any of these signs could be warnings of future basement flooding. Make sure that the earth around the house slopes away from the foundation walls, and check the base of the exterior walls for any signs of dampness.
Causes of Flooding
Basement flooding can also be caused by poor drainage on your property, leaking or plugged up downspouts or overflowing eavestroughs. Alternatively, if the drainage pipe from your home to the main sewer in the street is blocked, it may cause a back-up. Recent heavy rains over Toronto caused homes north of the 401 to flood, mostly because the rainwater caused backed-up wastewater in the sewer system to reach critical levels. The GTA has suffered from chronic flooding since 2005, and the City of Toronto is conducting studies in 32 areas to identify the causes and potential solutions.
If previous basement flooding has resulted in water damage, or your home shows signs that you may have a problem, arrange for a professional inspection and an estimate for basement waterproofing. Because of ongoing problems in Toronto, the City subsidies of up to $3,200 towards the cost of installing flood protection devices. Your local plumber will be able to help you identify your eligibility for the subsidy and to apply for it if you qualify.
As part of the waterproofing, it may be necessary to:
- seal the window wells
- fix leaks in basement walls and around windows
- install a back-water valve
- install a basement sump pump
- repair your foundation
Using soft-surface landscaping such as porous pavement or shrubs, or increasing the amount of green space on your property also helps to absorb excess rainwater and to protect the basement and local waterways from flooding.
The earlier you attend to signs of damp, the less likely it is that your foundations will need digging up and purging of accumulated water to prevent basement flooding. Contact your local plumber today for a free consultation to discuss your basement waterproofing requirements.