Every winter, Toronto homeowners incur thousands of dollars in damages from basement flooding. Instead of waiting until it happens and then looking for a cheap plumber in Toronto to clean up the mess, take steps now to prevent it from happening. It won’t just save you the drama of a flood and the heartache of losing your personal effects, it will keep your insurance premiums at an affordable rate.

Here are some of the things you can do:

Check Your Equipment

You’d be surprised how many homeowners don’t know whether their equipment is working properly until it’s too late. Items you should check regularly include:

  • Sump pump: make sure it’s operating correctly and that it has the capacity to handle enough water in an emergency.
  • Backflow prevention valve: check that it’s in the open position and that it has been reset after the last time it was activated.
  • Backwater valve alarm: verify that the alarm is functioning and that it has a battery back-up in case of a power outage.

It also helps to have a backup generator if you feel it’s warranted. It’s an expensive item, however, so it’s only practical if you experience frequent outages—or if you have items of exceptional value stored in your basement.

Keep Your Drains Clean

Backed-up drains are one of the primary causes of basement flooding. These range from clogged kitchen and bathroom drains to gutters and downspouts that are filled with old leaves and debris. Clean out your interior drains with boiling water regularly to remove backed-up grease and food residue, and check your exterior drains before the big freeze makes them impossible to access.

Do Essential Waterproofing

Most basements require some form of basic waterproofing, and it doesn’t take a cheap plumber in Toronto to tell you whether you have the essentials in place or not. Check to see if you have any signs that your waterproofing isn’t up to scratch, such as:

  • Bowed foundation walls
  • Cracking and chipping
  • Mildew
  • Puddles of water on the floor
  • Beads of moisture on the walls

If you see any of these, it’s a good idea to get it checked out urgently.

Check for Water Leaks

Often, the most basic cause of basement flooding is the entry of water through a window or a cracked wall. Caulk your basement windows and add weather stripping for extra protection. This won’t only prevent flooding but will help conserve gas or hydro costs by creating better insulation. Check your water pipes to make sure they don’t show any signs of leaks, and if you find any evidence of corrosion or aging have them replaced before they burst.

Service Your Hot Water Heater

A burst hot water tank is no fun for anyone, particularly in the dead of winter. Since most hot water heaters in Toronto are located in the basement if yours blows you’re likely to have a nice mess to clean up. Get your hot water heater inspected and serviced if necessary ahead of winter. You’ll be able to enjoy the holidays with peace of mind that it’s in the best possible condition.

Finally, keep contact information for your local plumber close at hand in case you have flooding. Don’t wait for it to happen to start looking for a cheap plumber in Toronto—chances are good you’ll call the first number you see and it could be a backyard plumber who isn’t even licensed. A mistake like that could cost you far more in the long term.