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What to do in case of flooding

1024 731 Nisha Muire
With the rainy spring that Toronto has been hit with this year, many homeowners who live by bodies of water are scrambling to protect their homes from rising water levels. However, there are ways that you can protect yourself from rainy days and their devastating effects on a house. Whether you are just building your home or protecting yourself from future downpours, the following suggestions can definitely protect your investment.

Using sealants
Apply sealants to your foundation, walls, windows and doors. Coating the lower level of your residence in this manner is a form of “dry flood proofing”. Sealants will prevent water from seeping into your home through cracks or porous surfaces.

French Drains and Sump Pumps
If you don’t already have them, installing French drains and a sump pump will give you a way of keeping water away from your home when the water level rises. It is a convenient outlet for water that relieves the pressure it can place on windows and foundations. A sump pump will allow you to pump out excess water from the lower levels of your home. If you do decide to install a sump pump, make sure that it has a battery back-up so that it can keep working even during a power outtage.

Raise your electrical outlets/switches
Although it may not seem necessary, ensuring that your electrical outlets and all of your switches are at least a half meter above the highest flood level will save your home’s wiring and will prevent electrical damage.

Backwater valves
Make sure that all of the pipes have backwater valves so that water can flow out of the house but not into it.

Proper landscaping
Your lawn should always have a very gentle slope away from your home to prevent water from flowing towards it. You should also create space between any kind of mulch and your house so that standing water doesn’t have a chance to damage the foundation.

Your downspouts should jut out at least a meter away from your home so that water from your gutters doesn’t collect and/or pool close to your dwelling.

Lastly, if you are building your home near a body of water that has the potential to flood or if you are in a known flood zone, then you might want to consider raising it up on stilts or a pier. Such a measure can also be taken for an existing home if you want to be sure to protect yourself from any potential water damage. While such a step is quite costly, it will be well-worth the investment in case of flooding.


Nisha Muire

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