Basement flooding is on the rise across Canada. Intense rainfall events combined with aging infrastructure, increased urbanization, loss of natural infrastructure, and a lack of flood protection measure have resulted in billions of dollars of losses for the country’s insurers, governments, homeowners, landlords and tenants over the past decade.
With an average price tag of $43,000 per flooded basement (Insurance Bureau of Canada, 2018), Canadian residents are increasingly seeking site-specific guidance to help them achieve practical, cost-effective means to reduce their household flood risk.
Cheryl Evans, director of the Home Flood Protection Program (HFPP) at the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation studied results from home flood risk assessments completed by flood risk assessors at more than 500 homes in southern Ontario and Saskatchewan in 2017 and 2018.
Based on the study, the report reveals the Top 10 ways for homeowners to protect themselves against basement flooding; several of the items cost less than $500 and can be done over the weekend.
Common issues inside the home included:
- no backup sump pump, or backup power to run the sump pump in case of emergency (85%)
- basement furniture and electronics at risk of water damage (71%)
- lack of maintenance of backwater valves (53%)
- failure to maintain sump pumps (40%)
Outside the home, the assessments revealed:
- window wells lower than 10 to 15 cm above grade (82%)
- downspouts that deposit water less than two meters from the foundation (78%)
- poor grading that directs water towards the foundation (69%)
- cracks or gaps in the basement windows (63%)