Looking Back at July’s Megastorm
Toronto experienced the most severely damaging (in terms of monetary costs) downpour in its history last month, as 126 milimetres of rain fell upon the city in just about 2 hours. Right now, just about every plumber in the city is booked solid through next month and more calls come in every day to repair damages done during last month’s flooding.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada has issued a report estimating the property damage about $850 million in claims. This surpasses the $671 million of damage done in the 2005 Ontario storms. Premiums may also be going up in response to the amount of claims filed over last month’s flooding. Some homeowners are already seeing higher premiums just in the few weeks since July 8th.
Power blackouts were experienced by an estimated 300,000 Toronto residents, and there was even a passenger train that was flooded with about 1,000 passengers onboard.
It is believed that future floods will be just as bad, or worse, as city infrastructures are not being maintained as well as in the past.
As we have said previously, it’s always good to make sure that your home or business is prepared for this type of flooding in order to minimize your damages and possible down-time. We’ll go over a bit of what you can do to make sure that your home is ready for summer floods.
As city sewer lines get overloaded during floods, sometimes the only thing that keeps them from backing up into your home is the presence of a functioning backwater valve. We recommend that you have a backwater valve installed if you do not already have one, and have it checked annually before each stormy season in order to make sure that your home is safe from sewage backups. These valves are also important for ensuring safety if there happens to be an obstruction in the sewer line.
“It is essential that homeowners take the appropriate action to reduce the risk of basement flooding on their own private property. Those who isolate their home from the City’s sewer system can significantly reduce the risk of basement flooding,” says an official announcement from the city of Toronto.
Another great reason to install a backwater valve (also called a backflow valve) is that the city will reimburse you for some of the costs.
If your home has a basement, making sure that it is properly waterproofed is another essential step in flood preparation. Check that you have weeping tiles or French drains installed outside. Make sure that you have a working sump pump with a back-up battery supply in your basement.
If there are any leaks in the structure of your house, you should make sure to have those patched. A small leak can turn into a huge problem when downpours begin. The water could even possibly get down into the foundation of your house and wreak havoc.
It’s always better to adopt a “better safe than sorry” approach when it comes to flood-proofing your home, especially here in Toronto where thousands of homes are flooded every year. Don’t let your home become one of the casualties of next summer’s rains. Get your waterproofing done ahead of time so you can sit back with a nice hot cup of cocoa and watch the rain fall next year.
If your home or business was damaged in the flood, give us a call and schedule an appointment immediately. We are currently experiencing a torrent of incoming calls related to the flood, but will make every effort to help you out in a timely manner.
As always, we will be back next week with more news and information topical to the plumbing trade and Toronto in particular. Make sure to share our blog with your friends on social media so that they can have access to our great informational resources.