Tips to Prevent Basement Flooding During a Storm


Basement flooding is the very last thing you want in your home; however, it still happens to plenty of people. A storm comes and water enters the basement, leaving weeks of cleaning and many ruined items. What’s more, flooding weakens the foundation, which could prove to be a very expensive repair. It’s better to take steps to ensure your basement won’t be in danger of flooding in the event of a storm. Prevention is much better than repair when it comes to basement flooding.

Cleaning Gutters

Clean your gutters and downspouts on a regular basis to clear them of leaves, dirt, and debris. Plugged gutters and leaking downspouts allow water to enter your basement, ultimately causing a flood. They should be cleaned on an annual basis and the downspouts should be inspected for any leaks. If you find any, either repair them or replace the downspout.

Foundation Leaks

The most common causes of basement leaks are cracks in the foundation that let water enter during a storm. Inspect your basement and repair any cracks. In most instances, they will be wider at the top than at the bottom.

The type of repair involved depends on the type of crack and the severity. Some can be easily repaired from within just by using caulk. Others will require a lot more work in order to waterproof your basement.

Catch Basins

Regularly inspect the catch basins in front of your home to ensure they are clear of any leaves and debris. If you notice that the catch basin is plugged, please contact the City of Hamilton or your local municipality to report this.

Window Leaks

If you have windows in your basement, it’s possible that the wood frames might have rotted. That can let water leak inside, contributing to basement floods. Consider replacing old basement windows with something newer, preferably aluminum or vinyl, which will wear better and be more effective against water.

French Drains

If the drainage system around your house isn’t very good, you could easily end up with water in the basement during a storm. In this instance, you will need to add drainage around the building. French drains move water away from your house.

Lot Drainage

If the drainage on your entire lot is poor, you will need to take steps to improve it in order to avoid basement flooding.

Back Water Valve

Simply put, a backwater valve, backflow valve or backflow preventer automatically senses a reverse flow (either water or sewage flowing in the wrong direction) in a pipe and completely closes the line when the condition occurs to prevent a sewer back up in your home.

The good news is Residential property owners may be eligible, for a single grant up to a maximum of $2,000 through the City of Hamilton (City) Protective Plumbing Program (3P). Program availability continues to be subject to funding as determined by Hamilton City Council and may be discontinued at any time without notice. Click here for more information.

Sump Pump

If basement flooding has been a regular problem, consider installing a sump pump in your basement. Check and test it regularly. Replace it immediately if it stops working.