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Flood Warning Sign Over Large Puddle in Road

Significant snow melt combined with heavy rainfalls spelled the recipe for disaster in many Northern Ontario communities this spring. Many roads in the Bracebridge area, Ontario’s main cottage country, were washed out by floodwaters, as water levels from nearby lakes rose dangerously high.  This prompted the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing to activate a disaster recovery assistance program to the Ontario communities of Renfrew County, Pembroke, Bracebridge and Huntsville. 

Are spring floods the “new normal”? 

If floods across the province are the result of climate change, homeowners will have to consider how to adapt and take any prevention measures they can.  

Dealing with the aftermath of a flood can be a real headache. Basement flooding can cause millions of dollars in damage to personal property. Anyone who has ever experienced a flooded basement, realizes the misery of loss of personal value items that simply cannot be replaced. It is in the homeowner’s best interest to never experience a basement flood at all. 

If you have experienced flooding in your home  

If your home has been damaged by flooding, keep safe by not entering a flood-damaged basement until the utility company, fire department or licensed electrician has removed the home’s electrical meter from its socket. A licensed HVAC professional can advise you whether your heating and cooling system can be salvaged. Contact your insurance company for an assessment of the damage and for any recovery steps they can take as soon as possible. 

What steps can you take to protect your home from basement flooding? 

Be Aware of Any Flood Risk in Your Area

Talk to your municipality about potential for flooding in your area. Find out what type of services you have to your home and if the municipality has a plan to address any flooding in your community. If you have experienced any flooding, it’s important to let your municipality know. The more reports that are filed from a given area the more resources are likely to be committed to understanding the problem. 

If your home is situated on a known flood plain, you may even consider relocating. When this is not possible, you will need to prepare for the worst-case scenario. 

Inspect the Plumbing in Your Home

Understanding how your home’s drainage and plumbing systems will help to reduce the risk of basement floods. To understand vital elements of your home’s plumbing system, such as your foundation’s drainage, sump pumps, sanitary and storm sewer laterals, and backflow valves, you may wish to engage a licensed plumber. 

Sump pumps, when maintained and working properly can safely pump excess water above and away from the foundation. If the pump cannot keep up or fails to operate (in the case of a power outage), the water eventually spills on to the basement floor. 

Be sure to have your sump pump maintained regularly to avoid preventable issues such as clogs, motor breakdown, and remote starter shorts during a flood.  

Installing a flood switch can save you time and money by stopping any high-water overflow before it becomes a problem. This simple inexpensive device can prevent an over-filled tank or pond from flooding and causing damage. 

Contact us today to book your repair, service or installation. 

Understand Your Insurance Coverage

It’s advisable to understand what your home insurance policy covers regarding plumbing before you are in a crisis situation. Does it offer coverage for sewer backups from the storm or sanitary sewer system? What about overland flooding due to heavy rainfall, or sump pump failure due to power outage. If you were to make a claim, how would it affect your rates, and your future insurability? 

Consider Waterproofing Your Basement

Waterproofing will protect your foundation, keeping moisture out and save you thousands in potential damage. If you are experiencing musky smells, mold, or water seeping through floors and walls in your basement, these are signs you may have an issue with your foundation’s waterproofing. 

Let one of our basement experts come and give you a free waterproofing estimate. 

Simple lifestyle changes that help 

  • Avoid pouring fats, oils, and grease down the drain 
  • Reduce household water use during heavy rains 
  • Avoid storage on your basement floor 
  • Avoid making the basement high-value living space 
  • Keep nearest outdoor catch basins clear of debris 
  • Seal the cracks in your foundation walls and floor 
  • Maintain you eavestroughs and downspouts
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