What to do if you live in an area prone to flooding or sewer backups

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• Move valuable items from the basement to the upper floors.

• Use water-resistant building materials below ground level.

• Install a sump pump.

• Install backwater valves or plugs for drains, toilets and other sewer connections.

• Raise large appliances, furnaces, hot water heaters and electrical panels up on wood or cement blocks above the water level. If an item can’t be raised, consider anchoring it and protecting it with a floodwall or shield.

• Anchor fuel tanks to the floor. A fuel tank can tip over or float in a flood, causing fuel to spill or catch fire. Make sure vents and fill line openings are above flood levels. If you use propane, contact the propane company before proceeding.

• Install flood shields or built-up barriers for basement windows and doors. The tops of the shields should extend above ground level.

• If flooding is imminent, shut off electricity to areas of the home that might be affected.


• Ensure proper lot grading. If possible, build up the ground around your house so water can drain away from your basement walls.

• Check sidewalks, patios, decks and driveways to make sure they haven’t settled over time and are causing water to drain toward your house.

• Landscape with native plants and vegetation that resist soil erosion.

• Clear snow away from the house foundation. If the ground is sloped one inch per foot near the house, moving snow just three to five feet from the house will reduce problems.

• Keep water out of window wells.

• Make sure downspouts extend at least six feet from your basement wall. Water should drain away from your house and neighbouring homes toward the street, backyard or back lane.

• Use a rain barrel to catch water runoff.