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Prevent Basement Flooding in Your Toronto Home

contractor inspecting home for potential basement flooding hazards

When it comes to basement flooding, the causes can be many. As such, the ways in which we protect our homes from floods are varied, all working together to form a basement flooding protection plan. If you want to make sure that your home has an effective basement flooding strategy, it’s important to understand the different tactics used. Below are some of the most popular ways that you can protect your Toronto home from basement flooding.

1. Backwater Valves

Backwater valves in Toronto are simple yet effective mechanical devices which help to keep water from flowing back into your home. It’s usually installed in your basement and connects to the main line that drains water from your home and into the public sewer pipes. During periods of high usage, spring thawing, or rainfall, city sewer lines have a tendency to overflow and send water rushing back from whence it came, namely your home. A backwater valve, however, can stop this water from entering your home by automatically shutting off the pipe when water starts flowing the wrong way. This is easily one of the most cost effective ways to help protect your home from basement flooding and is easy to have installed. Bear in mind that many municipalities have made backwater valves mandatory, which means you may need one installed to keep your home up to the current plumbing code in your area.

2. Sump Pumps

A sump pump is often a necessary piece of equipment for a home and may be legally required in your neighbourhood or district. Essentially, these plumbing devices help pump water from your home and off to somewhere safe. They’re designed for homes that sit at or below the local water table, which makes them particularly susceptible to basement flooding. Without a sump pump, your home could experience much more frequent basement flooding, especially after some rain or during the spring when the snow melts. Most newer homes have sump pumps installed already if they’re deemed necessary, but some homes that sit just above the water table, or were built awhile ago, may need one installed. Water tables tend to change over time, which means your home may need one now, but didn’t even a decade ago. Be sure to check with a professional to see if your home needs a sump pump as part of its basement flooding protection plan.

3. Window Sealing

Windows, especially basement windows, are often a spot where water can rest and slowly seep into your basement. Since many basement windows are sunk below the rest of your yard, they have a tendency to build up water, especially if these window casings lack proper drainage. The casings and window sills may also be part of the problem, along with window glass that leaks or encourages condensation. Getting your basement windows inspected for possible leakages is an important aspect of getting your basement waterproofed. Professionals will be able to reseal windows, recommend upgrades, and ensure that your windows keep water out, rather than letting it seep in. Don’t wait until heavy rainfall comes into your home through your windows. Instead, stay proactive and see if your basement windows are letting water seep in even during dry spells.

4. Door Replacement

Doors, whether they’re doors to the basement or doors on the main level, are often a source of water seepage and leakage. When it comes to doors, the best course of action is having a professional inspect the frame and door itself. If you notice that water can seep through your doorways, it’s absolutely essential you have them upgraded or replaced. A professional will often recommend that you replace the door and doorframe, often with good reason. These two components of a door must work together perfectly to make sure that your doors keep water out.

5. Foundational Repair

Cracked, damaged, or unsettled foundations are a major cause of basement flooding and leaks, and are often indicators of much larger, very expensive issues. If your home is older, the foundation has likely settled. Sometimes, that bears no consequence on the home itself, but other times it can cause leaks, floods and more. If you’ve noticed the walls in your basement are forming cracks, or if your basement is flooding or seems to always have water coming from an unknown source, be sure to call in a professional. Foundational repairs can be costly, but they’re one of the most necessary aspects of keeping your home dry and structurally sound. Often, minor foundational repairs are all that’s necessary, and they can be fairly cost effective if addressed early. But when left alone, these types of repairs quickly escalate in price. As a result, it is always better to deal with foundational issues sooner rather than later.

6. Landscaping Solutions

No matter where you live, the area around your property is one of the key aspects to basement flooding prevention. The reasoning is simple: if your home is sealed up completely, but the ground around your home encourages water to flow towards the house, you will experience water-related issues, up to and including basement flooding. Most homes have yards that drain water away from the home, it’s why most driveways are slightly angled away from the house, but ground has a tendency to shift. When it does, water can start moving around your property differently, which can cause all sorts of problems. Most solutions involve changing the grading of your yard, and these options can be much less expensive than you imagine. Either way, it’s important to ask for professional advice when it comes to landscaping. That way, you can get the right things done the first time around, and protect your home from basement flooding much more effectively.

Basement waterproofing techniques fall broadly into two categories, exterior and interior. They are most effective when used together, which is why it’s important to have an assessment performed by a trained and certified professional. That way, your Toronto home will get a well-rounded basement flooding protection plan that will keep it safe and dry.


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