June 26, 2014 7:07 pm
Updated: June 26, 2014 7:12 pm

How to protect your basement from flooding


TORONTO – Dozens of basements were left flooded Wednesday after heavy rains moved through Toronto.

”Everything is gone. So we are very upset. My husband, myself, there’s a lot to do,” Lidia Montefiore of North York said.

Some areas of Toronto saw close to 50mm of rain, which can quickly lead to flooding.  But there are some things homeowners and municipalities can do to alleviate flooding.

What can homeowners do to prevent flooding?

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Chris Cavan of City Wide Group Inc suggests homeowners take preventative action.

“Have your house 100 per cent water-proofed.  Excavate around the entire perimeter, a new weeping tile system installed and new water proofing membranes applied to the wall.  And also install a back water valve to make sure you never have any sewer backups,” Cavan said.

Depending on the size of a home, Cavan estimates waterproofing could cost $15,000 to $30,000.

Cavan also advised preventing negative grading.

“Top up any holes make sure any asphalt or concrete paving is well sloped away from property.”

Cavan suggests disconnecting your downspout from the city storm system and moving it 15 to 20 feet away from your home.

What can municipalities do to stop flooding?

Jennifer Drake, an assistant professor in the Civil Engineering Department at the University of Toronto thinks cities should investigate rainwater harvesting.

“If we create more uses for this water, it’s going to encourage more people to collect the rainwater and also collect it in larger volumes which will increase the impact,” she said.

Having other places for stormwater to go will lower the amount of water feeding into at-risk areas like the Don River.

Kathleen Wynne said Thursday that Minister of the Environment Glen Murray will be reviewing building codes in an effort to mitigate flooding.

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