How To Prevent Basement Flooding

By June 30, 2015Plumbing Services

With the recent heavy rainfall, every home is at risk of basement flooding. Good news is that you can prevent or at least reduce the risk of this happening to your property.

Causes of Basement Flooding

  1. Blocked connection between your home and main sewer line in the street

  2. Backup of wastewater in the sewer system

  3. Sump pump failure

  4. Crack or leak in your property’s foundation, basement wall or basement window/door

  5. Failure of weeping tiles

  6. Overflowing gutters

  7. Leaking or plugged downspouts

Here are some steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of your basement flooding.

  • Before the rainy season starts, ensure your plumbing and drainage system are in good working condition. Remember that homeowners are responsible for the plumbing from the property line to inside the home. You can have a licensed plumber assist to:

    • Locate and assess condition of sewer lateral.

    • Perform a video camera inspection to check the integrity of your sewer laterals.

    • Inspect the condition of backwater valves, backflow preventers and sump pump.

    • Assess and recommend options to reduce flooding.

    • Fix cracks, blockages or any other issues affecting your plumbing system.

  • Install battery-backup sump pump if your area experiences lots of power outages.

  • Avoid creating clogs:

    • Do not flush down the toilet: wipes(including “flushable wipes”), dental floss, condoms or paper towels.

    • Never pour fats or grease down your drain.

  • Seal all window wells, seal cracks or openings on walls.

  • Clear gutters and downspouts of leaves and other debris.

  • Increase green space around your home with native plants and shrubs.


What to do in case your basement flooded

  • Do not use your toilet or sinks unless it is absolutely necessary!  Any water collected in your drains might end up in your basement.

  • Shut off electrical power if possible in case there are outlets exposed to the water (note: it will affect your sump pump if you have one).

  • Check for gas odor if you have a gas water heater. The pilot may have been extinguished by the water.

  • Call your insurance company as soon as possible to report the damage caused by the flooding.

  • Be mindful of health and safety when cleaning up your flooded basement. Sewer backups and flood water can expose you to dangerous contaminants.

  • Discard all contaminated items that are of porous nature such as mattresses, cardboards, newspapers etc.

  • Keep children and pets out of the affected area until cleanup has been completed.

  • If your property is subject to a high risk of flooding, look into a flood alarm that can be installed along with the backflow preventer valve on your main building drain.