Solutions - 1, 2, 3
What Can I Do To Keep My Basement From Flooding?
Eliminating the most common causes of flooding is as easy as 1, 2, 3:
1. Lot Grading
Check the outside walls of your home at ground level. If the land slopes in toward the foundation, rainwater is being directed toward the weeping tile system around the home; this can easily overload the city's sewer system. To correct this problem, you will need to grade your lot so the land slopes away from the foundation.
2. Downspout Drainage
Clear the leaves out of your gutters and downspouts regularly and ensure the downspouts do not lead into the ground. If they do, the pipe in the ground must be properly capped and sealed. Then, if possible, redirect the downspouts to discharge at least 1.8 metres (6 feet) from your walls. Ensure the water is draining onto your property. The Drainage By-law
(this link takes you to a pdf file) prohibits the discharge of water in a manner that adversely affects neighbouring properties. It also prohibits the direct connection of downspouts to a sanitary sewer or a storm sewer.
3. Flood-Proofing Devices
If your weeping tile system is connected to the building drain, you should have it professionally disconnected and re-routed to a sump pit, and have a sump pump installed. In conjunction with this work you have to install a back-flow prevention system.
Can Rainwater Be Redirected?
Yes, rainwater can be redirected - but we all have to help. Take a walk around the outside of your home and you will likely see the leading causes of basement flooding; earth or finished surfaces that slope toward your foundation wall, and downspouts that discharge too close to the house.
When a house is built, the earth around the outside of the house is graded to slope away from the walls. Over time, however, settling and ground shifting can change the direction of the slope. The result is that the surface water is channeled down the outside of the foundation wall and into the weeping tiles surrounding your home.
If the weeping tiles are connected to the building drain (and from there to the sanitary sewer) the excess water can lead to flooding in your basement and/or a sewer overload.
Even if your basement does not flood, you may be contributing to higher flows which leads to downstream flooding. Likewise, your neighbours may be causing basement flooding in your home.
If we all implement the three solutions described above, basement flooding could be virtually eliminated. Until then, you should find the following summary helpful.
SLOPES AND DOWNSPOUTS
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Keeping Your Basement Dry
- Grade the lot away from the foundation walls.
- Check for - and fix - leaks in walls, floors and foundation. Clean eavestroughs and downspouts.
- Extend your downspouts 1.8 metres (six feet) away from the basement walls.
- Disconnect all downspouts from the sanitary drain.
- Keep your sewer unobstructed - do not pour grease down the drain or flush objects down the toilet.
- Consider soft-surface landscaping that allows storm water to soak into the ground.
- Have a qualified plumber regularly inspect all back-flow prevention systems and plumbing fixtures to ensure proper operation.
- Keep the screw cap in the basement floor drain in place, except when draining your washing machine or water softener discharge. The floor drain is usually located in the lowest part of your basement and is covered with a round, perforated plate.
- Keep the sewer service clean-out cap in place as well. The clean out is usually located downstream from the floor drain.
- Ensure your flood insurance is up to date.