City advises homeowners to take flood-proofing action

With the heavy rain forecast for Toronto this weekend, the City urges homeowners to take immediate steps to help reduce their risk of basement flooding.

Toronto’s sewer system is designed to handle most storms. However, as a result of increasingly frequent and severe storms, the sewer system can become overloaded, flooding streets and creating ponds in low-lying areas.

Homeowners can take action, short- and long-term, using the checklist below to flood proof their home.

Short-term • Inspect your home's flood-proofing devices, such as sump pumps, floor drains or backwater valves, to ensure they're working properly. • Inspect your walls, doors, windows, floors and foundations for any cracks or leaks. • Safely clear neighbourhood catchbasins of debris that blocks rainwater from flowing easily into them. • Clean out your eavestroughs and window wells and check for leaks.

Long-term • Ensure that downspouts are disconnected and drain properly away from the basement and foundation walls (also check to make sure your downspout does not drain directly onto neighbouring properties, lanes or sidewalks). • Consider soft-surface landscaping that allows stormwater to soak into the ground away from your home. • Examine the grading of your property. The ideal is for your property to slope away from the house for at least two to three metres. • When in doubt, contact a professional such as a licensed plumber or drainage contractor. • Make sure your flood insurance is up to date.

If you experience basement flooding, call 311, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information about basement flooding prevention: http://www.toronto.ca/water.

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