Avoid Basement Flood – Your Preparation Checklist
Spring is a joyous and exhilarating time of year – until you have a basement flood! Protect yourself from possible disaster!
What do you love about springtime? Is it the longer days? The warmer weather? Crocuses and other spring blooms breaking through the cold earth? All of the above? We agree! We are even at peace with the increased rainfall that will help turn everything a vibrant green.
Unless all that rain combined with retreating snow and spring runoff fills our yards and seeps into our basements, causing costly basement flood. If we aren’t properly prepared.
Take stock of the condition of your basement and its contents. If you have a fully finished basement, there’s a lot at stake in the event of a basement flood. Damage or ruin – furnishings, flooring, drywall, valuable mementoes, keepsakes, and documents.
Save yourself a lot of time, work, money, and anguish over lost valuables. Get out ahead of the rain and spring thaw to help keep your property safe.
PREVENT a costly and inconvenient basement flood
If we keep an eye on and maintain just four elements, we increase our chances to prevent a springtime disaster:
Basement flood protection and maintenance – ideally, two times per year
- Check nearby storm drains and remove any debris
- Clean out eavestroughs and downspouts of dirt, debris, ice
- Test your sump pump. Don’t forget the backup power source!
- Ensure your backwater valve is clear of debris
- Maintain all plumbing, fixtures, and appliances
- Test flood alarms
Keep water out of your basement
- Examine the foundation of your home, indoors and out. Check basement walls and floors for cracks.
- With a caulking gun, fill cracks with the appropriate crack filler for masonry concrete.
- Differentiate larger, problematic cracks from the tiny shrinkage cracks visible on homes old and new. You might have to hire an experienced contractor to help you identify the difference.
- Direct the water from your downspouts at least three feet away from your foundation
- Extend downspouts and sump discharge pipes to direct water at least 2m away from your foundation or to the nearest drainage swale
- Install window well covers. Ensure they are 10-15cm above ground level and are properly sealed at the foundation
- Install water-resistant basement windows
- Install a backwater valve (work with a plumber and get required permits)
Protect your personal belongings in your basement
- Store valuables and documents in watertight containers or move elsewhere
- Store hazardous materials (paints, chemicals) in watertight containers or remove
- Raise electronics off the floor
- Select removable area rugs and furnishings that have wooden or metal legs
Water in your basement? Remove as quickly as possible!
- Take away obstructions to the basement floor drain
- Remove all water. If you don’t remove it promptly after flooding, the damage can be quite extensive and costly – mould!
- Install a backup sump pump with a power source
With the water removed, dry everything thoroughly. Ensure plenty of ventilation to minimize the potential for mould. Open windows and doors and turn on fans to increase air circulation.
Soaked porous items will need to be thrown out – paper documents, newspapers, cardboard boxes. They can be a breeding ground for mould.
Dry out your carpets quickly, and you may be able to keep them. If they can’t be thoroughly dried, they may have to be torn up and thrown away.
If large portions of drywall are saturated, cut out the damaged areas and replace them.
Review your home insurance coverage
Make sure that you protect your property in case of a basement flood. Review your homeowner’s policy and consider additional coverage if you feel your home is vulnerable to flood. Especially if you have a fully finished basement.
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