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.
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.
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 pumps.
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.
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.
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.
Flood Insurance, do you know if your covered. Many Canadians don't even know what coverage they have...do 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 this 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!
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.