Avoid Spring Basement Flooding
As spring arrives in Canada, changes in temperature can lead to plumbing problems and flooding. One particular problem is the effect of winter thaw. Melting ice, snow, and frozen groundwater can penetrate a house’s foundation (especially if the foundation is cracked), causing serious damage to the basement. Other factors that contribute to basement flooding include poor drainage, overflowing gutters, or a block in the sewer system. To reduce the risks of flooding, here are some tips to follow:
* Outside the House *
- Use sealant to seal cracks or openings found on the walls, floors, windows, window wells, and foundation.
- Clean up debris (e.g. old leaves, branches, and dirt) around gutters and drains.
- Ensure your gutter downspouts are draining properly. As a rule of thumb, make sure they drain at least two metres away from your foundation.
- Grade the ground around your house to slope away from the foundation wall.
- Install porous pavement that helps absorb rainwater and melted snow, and/or add more plants around your home like shrubs.
- Clear debris from roadside sewer grates to help water enter the storm sewer.
- Ensure there are no clogs in drainage swales (shallow ditches) between properties.
* Inside the House *
- Verify that your plumbing is in good condition, or call in a certified plumber for a thorough inspection.
- Install a backwater valve and sump pump. (Your sump pump might require a backup power source, in case of power outages.)
- Keep items off the floor in your basement by installing shelves or storing valuable items in watertight containers.
- Remove carpeting from your basement; carpets retain water and can be difficult to clean.
- Avoid flushing anything other than tissue paper down the toilet. Dental floss, condoms, sanitary pads, or non-biodegradable products can block the pipes.
- Properly dispose of grease and oils in a bin or freeze in a metal can for trash pickup later. Never pour them down the drain or into the garburator.
The thawing ground (and any nearby melting ice and snow) this spring can pose a threat to your basement. Water that penetrates a home’s foundation can cause structural damage and harm your personal items. Also, look out for neighbourhood sewer grates that are blocked by fallen leaves or other debris — they can cause a backup that will create problems for you or other nearby homeowners.
Avoid the effects of basement flooding by following these tips. Additionally, call in a certified plumber from a reputable company to assess any hidden issues your plumbing system may have. Call Abbey Plumbing and Mechanical at (905) 822-0521 today to help prepare your house for spring.