Long Branch is no stranger to flooding. Part of our history is the catastrophic flooding that came from Hurricane Hazel in 1954. Seven residents of Long Branch lost their lives and many more homes were destroyed or washed into Lake Ontario.
With more modern storm sewer systems and flood control, it is much less likely that we will see residents lives at risk from storms and flooding. More likely is that flooding will rear its head in our basements, where it can be an expensive nuisance.
Many residents of Long Branch are aware of the network of underground streams in our neighbourhood and we have frequently warned developers about the potential impact on residents by taking down trees and reducing soft landscaping that soaks up storm runoff.
A recent article in the Globe and Mail suggests that the cost of a flooded basement can be as much as $43,000, and this may not be completely covered by household insurance. in some cases, insurance companies are refusing to offer flood damage coverage on household insurance policies.
What can you do?
Fortunately, preventing basement flooding is not outrageously expensive and can cost less than $250 as the Globe article suggests.
Clearing out eavestroughs helps ensure your downspouts will be able to direct runoff from your roof away from your foundation. In some cases, you can do this yourself with a ladder, a trowel and a bucket.
Installing a backflow preventer will cost more that $250 but insurance companies will often give you a reduced rate for flood damage that will help you recover the cost over time. Also the City has a program of giving rebates to homeowners who install them.
A backflow preventer is a valve installed in your sewer line that only allows flow in one direction – to the main sewer line. It is intended to help prevent sewer backups which are far more messy to deal with than water coming in through basement walls and windows.
Waterproofing your foundation usually involves excavation around the foundation, replacing damaged weeping tiles and installing a waterproof membrane around the foundation to prevent groundwater from getting through your foundation and directing runoff to the weeping tiles that direct runoff away from your foundation.
It’s not cheap to do this, but it is better than seeing furniture or other valuables get damaged by flooding.
Installing a sump pump in your basement is a way of collecting groundwater and pumping it away from your house. New homes are required to have a sump pump installed.
We hope we’ve given you some tips you can use. Please let us know how else we can help you.