During this time of year, almost every city in Ontario could be at risk of basement flooding — Oshawa is no exception. As a resident, you should take the opportunity to improve your plumbing and practice flood-prevention techniques, so you don’t have to deal with an expensive and potentially dangerous disaster.
There are several reasons why Oshawa is at risk. For one, it’s located right beside Lake Ontario. When there are sudden storms, the water levels rise. The same thing happens when the ice and snow melt around the beginning of spring. When the levels rise, low-lying areas near the shore are vulnerable to flooding.
Oshawa is also a modern city with lots of paved roads, sidewalks and parking lots. Since these surfaces can’t absorb heavy rain, the water pools much faster than a location with more green space. The urban runoff will flood busy roadways with no nearby drainage, overwhelm storm sewers and push its way into people’s homes.
It’s also important to note that global warming will affect the prevalence and severity of storms. Residents who have weathered powerful rainstorms without taking any housing precautions in the past may not be as lucky in the upcoming years.
As proof, you can look back at the heavy storm in May 2017 where high water levels lead to the city making multiple road closures to prioritize the safety of cyclists and drivers. Only a few months later, the city dealt with flash flooding after a thunderstorm sent buckets of rain and hail “the size of ping pong balls” down onto the GTA.
With summer just around the corner, every Oshawa resident should be preparing to get through similar storms. If your home is in a low-lying area or near a shoreline, you should act as soon as possible. If you’ve already dealt with a basement flood, you will be especially susceptible to another emergency.
What can you do to protect your home?
Get A Backwater Valve
A combined sewer system connects the city’s stormwater sewer with its wastewater sewer. It’s an old-fashioned form of infrastructure that’s avoided nowadays because it causes serious problems during severe storms. When a combined sewer system gets overwhelmed with stormwater, the contents can move up residential sewer lines. So, sewage will back-up through low-level drains of nearby homes — and worst of all, you can’t do much to stop the flow.
A great way to prevent sewage overflow from ending up in your basement is to get a backwater valve installed. The durable cap will block any back-up from entering through your drains. Think of it like a closed door blocking out an unwanted visitor.
Combined sewer systems are not incredibly common in this area. If your home is old or has had sewer back-up problems in the past, it’s likely that your neighbourhood uses this type of system.
Have Your Drains Professionally Inspected
Another method for reducing your risk of basement flooding is to have your slow or clogged drains inspected by an expert plumbing company. We can run a video camera inspection to detect any trouble like root intrusion, clogs or pipe breaks. Something like a blocked sewer line could send back-up into multiple drains, so sludge comes out of your basement toilet, tub and floor drain.
In general, you should think about getting your drains cleaned out to stop flooding from water intrusion. A clear floor drain can get rid of water pooling on the basement floor, mitigating any permanent water damage. A clogged one will add to the trouble. If you want to be proactive, we offer drain cleaning in Oshawa to eliminate all clogs and guarantee that the plumbing is in top condition.
Get A Sump Pump
The Insurance Bureau of Canada lists installing a sump pump as one of the best risk management techniques when it comes to flooding because it effectively discharges water collected in your home’s weeping tile (foundation drain) system.
A power outage could sabotage this preventative device. You will want to have a backup pump or backup generator, in case the first option shuts off because of the storm. The unlucky situation is not rare.
If you already have a sump pump, you should test it out to see if works. Check to see if it is plugged in, then pour buckets of water into the sump pit. The machine should turn on when the water rises to a certain level. If it doesn’t turn on or performs strangely, you need to get it replaced immediately. Ignoring a broken sump pump is a recipe for disaster.
Clean Out Your Gutters
One of the biggest steps to avoiding a flooded basement is to clear any debris like dead leaves or twigs out of your gutters and downspouts. The gutter system is meant to collect falling rainwater and direct it safely away from the house. A bad clog can block the flow of rainwater, forcing it to collect and spill over the sides, either soaking into the roof or moving into the foundation.
After cleaning out all of the mess, you should check to see if your downspouts are long enough. Their exit should be at least 1.8 metres (6 feet) away from the exterior wall of your house. If they aren’t, you can buy extensions at the nearest hardware store.
Have The Emergency Number Ready
It’s always wise to have the contact information of an emergency plumber saved on your smartphone. When water starts spilling into your house, you don’t want to spend your time searching for a plumbing company online and reading reviews to see if they’re trustworthy — you need a professional to deal with the situation right away.
Time is of the essence. Having that number ready-to-go means that an expert will be there to minimize the damage and solve the problem in a flash.
Read the testimonials from past customers to see why they chose us as the company to call when things went terribly wrong. We consistently receive high reviews based on convenience, price and the quality of services rendered. Many of the reviews are from people who suffered basement flooding, either from water intrusion or sewer back-up.
Explore the website to learn more about us and our services that can protect your home from other types of plumbing disasters. Whether you’re dealing with leaky pipes or disgusting sewer back-up, we can be there to tackle the problem head-on.
It’s possible that your home survives every single rainstorm, snowmelt or flash flood unscathed, but you shouldn’t gamble with these odds. It will be wiser to practice precautionary measures like testing your sump pump, cleaning your gutters and clearing up clogged drains. Think of it this way: it’s much better to be prepared for the worst than to be paying thousands of dollars in repairs.