How to Avoid
Downspout - Disconnection
Grading Around the House
Backwater Valve
Downspout - Disconnection
Backwater Valve
Grading Around the House
Sump Pumps
Back water valves may help with sewer water backing up and possibly damaging or causing water
related damages in the basement. They activate when water reverses and tries to flow into the house.

Backwater valves should be installed by a licensed plumber and require a building permit to be installed.
They also need to be maintained and regularly inspected according to product specifications.

The City of Toronto offers up to $1250 in rebates to offset the cost of a backwater valve under the
Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program. Other municipalities may have there own programs
such as
Halton Region, Region of Peel and City of Vaughan.

I also found an interesting video on maintaining a backwater valve which you should watch.
Click here
Downspout's that are directed underground and or which pool water near the foundation can be a
major cause of basement flooding. Redirection of a downspout is typically an inexpensive fix. There
are companies who can redirect your downspout's or you can do it yourself...check out the
YouTube video.

Neighbourhoods are requiring home owners and builders to direct all downspout's above ground,
away from the foundation and to ensure that these downspout's do not become a trip hazard and
are not directed to your neighbours house.

You may also want to check with your specific Municipalities Basement Flooding Programs, they
may have rebates on redirecting your downspouts -
City of Toronto, Halton Region, Region of Peel
City of Vaughan. Make sure you read and understand the details.
Grading around the house is very important in reducing basement floods. Grading has a tendency
of settling over the years so when you walk around your house look for areas which have settled
towards the house or dips and flat areas of grading which can allow rain water to pool near the
house or foundation, which is exactly what we are trying to avoid.

Some people like to lay out gravel or cement slabs, some use soil or wood chips after they have
planted shrubs or bushes (hopefully 3-4 feet away from the house). Just keep in mind that whatever
you use the grading should drop 6 inches in the first 6 feet away from the home - look at the picture
to your right titled Measure for Proper Grading or
click here to watch a video..

Caulking Gaps
You might have cement or interlock bricks around some areas of your house. These areas should
also have a slight slope away from the house to help with rain water.

Also you should look to see if a gap is present between the cement and house foundation wall,
along walkways, front, side and rear stairs and driveways which butt up against the foundation.
These gaps may allow water to flow down between the grade and house and possibly into the
basement. I would recommend that these gaps be sealed with a flexible outdoor product to reduce
the possibility of water entry. For these type of cement grades a specialist should be consulted.

Here is a YouTube video to give you some idea about caulking cement joints -
Click here for a
YouTube Video on Cement Caulking
A sump pump is part of a system which contains an under water pump located inside a circular
container which is typically installed in the basement.

This circular container is usually flush with the basement floor. The outside weeping tile which
surrounds the base of the house is connected to the circular container. If or when water enters the
weeping tile it may flow to the city and or as well into the sump pump container and then the sump
pump will push it to the outside.

It is important to make sure you regularly check to see if the sump pump works and you might even
want a back up pump and or even a back up battery in case the power goes out. Usually homes
located near lakes and streams or a re prone to flooding have back up generators, batteries and

Sump pumps can also be found in houses with basement that are close to high water tables such
as near lakes or streams. They can also be found if a wet basement specialist installs one as part
of a wet basement improvement.

Again there may be susbidies/rebates for installation of a sump pump -
City of Toronto, Halton
Region, Region of Peel and City of Vaughan. You may also want to check with your specific
Municipalities Basement Flooding Programs, they may have rebates on sump pumps. Make sure
you read and understand the details.
Additional Resources for Basement Flooding
Additional Resources for Basement Flooding
Sump Pumps
Downspout directed
Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC): How to Avoid Basement Flooding and What
to do After a Basement Flood and Prevention of Basement Flooding due to Sewers.

Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR): Hand Book for Reducing Flooding and 4
Videos on Reducing Basement Flooding.
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) has more than 60 years of experience, and is one of
36 Conservation Authorities in Ontario, created to safeguard and enhance the health and well-being of
watershed communities through the protection and restoration of the natural environment and the
ecological services the environment provides.
Dufferin County, Durham Region, Peel Region, Toronto and
York Region.

Disclaimer - Before you go on. The information on the TRCA website does not constitute a regulatory
flood plain map as formally approved by a qualified Professional Engineer and TRCA...You must read the
Disclaimer scroll down you will see a disclaimer section below the map viewer and I also believe before you
can use the map viewer you have to agree to the disclaimer. I highly recommend to call the
TRCA Planning
& Development Staff for your specific requirements. Use the Flood Plain Map as a guide only!

Flood Plain Map
Flood Plain Management is a fundamental objective of the TRCA which is achieved through policies that
limit development within the flood plain. Knowing the extent of the flood plain is an important tool for land
use planning and emergency management. The TRCA has developed a
Flood Plain Map to help identify
the regulated areas which are or have been susceptible to flooding. You can search the flood plain map
with a specific address click
Search Map. Make sure you scroll down the page.

Flood Plain - Permits
There are special rules and regulations regarding development within TRCA’s regulation areas particularly
within a flood regulated area. You may require a permit for building a deck, pool, building a new home, soil
excavation and more please see
TRCA’s Planning & Permits section.

Flood Building Materials
I also found a Flood Damage-Resistant Materials Requirements by FEMA a US based Agency. I could not
find a Canadian document but water damage is water damage and many of the same building components
are used here and across the border. This document may provide information on acceptable materials to
use in a potential flood area, such as when finishing your basement. This is a guide only! I recommend to
consult with a qualified specialist before you start any renovation/building project.
Flood Plain Map
Flood Plain Map
Flood Plain Map
Flood Forecasting/Warning
Government of Ontario has a website with a flood map as well as list of Conservation Authorities within the
Ontario Region which you can look for Information about your specific areas flood warning which is referred
to as the
Flood Forecasting and Warning Program, which prepares provincial and local authorities in the
event of a flood. There are 2 types of Provincially flood messages (provincial flood watch and watershed)
and 3 types of Locally flood messages (Flood Warning, Flood Watch and Condition Statement).

When your on the website scroll to the bottom of the web page for the definitions of the local and provincial
flood messages. If you click on your specific region under the "Locally Issued Flood Message" column then
you will go to the Conservation Authorities website with more information.

You can also sign up for
Tornado Warnings from the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency
Management either by email and or txt messages, on the
Ontario Ministry of Solicitor General website.
Flood Preparedness
Flood Insurance, do you know if your covered. Many Canadians don't even know what coverage they you? What type of flood damage are you covered for, optional sewer backup and/or overland
flooding or just the typical coverage such as pipe burst and/or hot water tank bursts, if any? Have a look at
A Guide to Residential Water Damage and Flood Insurance by Insurance Bureau of Canada IBC for
more info...then call your insurance company and find out what your covered for!

Gov't Financial Assistance - The Disaster Recovery Assistance Program Guidelines for Ontarians
(ODRAP). Provides Ontarians with financial assistance after a natural disaster, like a flood. If the program
becomes activated by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing in an area impacted after a flood then
an affected homeowner can fill out an application for assistance where the disaster occurred.
Applying for
Disaster Recovery Assistance. Make sure you read the guidelines carefully there are caps on payouts.

Emergency Kits, they say you should have a 72 hr emergency kit which you can take with you in the
event you have to leave your house. St. John Ambulance has a do it yourself kit a
72-hour “grab-and-go”
kit for home. You can also purchase a kit - Salvation Army: Deluxe Emergency Preparedness Car Kit.
Flood Forecasting/Warning
Flood Preparedness
Window wells are generally used when a window is at or below grade level. The window well allows
the outside elements such as snow and water to accumulate or drain away below the window. This is
very important to reduce the possibility of the water leaking into the house or basement.

Window Well maintenance is very important. Leaves and newspapers as well as toys and weeds
should be cleaned out as part of a regular maintenance program. A properly installed window well
will allow the water to drain down to the weeping tile and flow out away from the house. A window
well cover is also a product which can help keep the elements out, but it may come at a slight
disadvantage, less light visible at that window. See image to the right.
Window Wells
Window Well