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5 Ways to Prevent Basement Floods

Basement floods can be costly and stressful. Though they often occur during periods of heavy rainfall and melting snow, they can occur in dry seasons as well, posing hazards to home and business owners all year long. Learn more about how to prevent basement floods.

What causes basement floods (and how to prevent them)? Most basement floods occur during periods of heavy rainfall or in the spring when the snow melts. However, floods can happen even in the drier seasons too. Basements are inherently prone to flooding. They are the deepest part of any home, typically built entirely or at least partly below ground level. Groundwater as well as sanitary and storm sewers are typically found below basement level, but the water can sometimes rise above the level of the basement floor. Flooding can occur due to:

  • Poorly graded lots causing water to flow toward the house.

  • Foundational cracks that allow water to seep in.

  • Problems with plumbing, such as a faulty sump pump.

  • Sewer backup due to heavy rains

5 ways to prevent basement floods While there is no one solution that eliminates the possibility of flooding entirely, there are ways to look after your home’s plumbing that may lower the risk.

  1. Find and fill cracks in your foundation. Make sure you do an annual inspection of your exterior foundation, interior walls, and floor of your basement. Fill any foundational cracks with epoxy and resolve interior problems with masonry sealer.

  2. Clean gutters and extend downspouts. It’s important to clean your gutters in the spring and fall to remove leaves, dirt and debris. Downspouts should be positioned away from your foundation, ideally by about three feet. Install extensions or troughs, if necessary. If water is draining off your roof and pooling at the edge of the house, it’s very likely that it will seep into your foundation. Ensure that all runoff drains away from your home to help keep your basement dry.

  3. Get your sewer and septic cleaned. During periods of prolonged rainfall, your plumbing system can become overtaxed and create an unwelcome biohazard in your home. It's a good idea to have them professionally cleaned on an annual basis to remove any clogs in the system that could lead to flooding. Back water valves can also help, ensuring your sewer/septic is kept tidy.

  4. Install a sump pump. In most cases, it's not feasible to regrade the land around your home. So to help eliminate water from pooling around your foundation, and eventually in your basement, have a sump pump installed. It acts like a huge floor drain that pumps accumulating water away from your house.

  5. Get a generator. For your sump pump to work you need electricity. If you have ever encountered prolonged power outages, you know the advantages of having a backup power generator are huge. Your sump pump will keep working, preventing a flood, plus you will still have power to your stove and refrigerator too.

Got an emergency with your plumbing in Aurora or Newmarket? Call the experts at Black Forest Plumbing! We service the entire York region and most of the GTA. If you have a plumbing emergency, don’t hesitate. Contact us right away! Book A Service Appointment



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