Flood Prevention

Basement flooding is a widespread problem and causes millions of dollars in damage to personal property not to mention huge personal efforts in rehabilitation to fix the damage caused and to replace items lost. Clearly it is in a homeowner’s best interest never to experience a basement flood at all. Whether you have flooded or not part of this discussion will be based on principles of home plumbing and drainage reviewed in causes of basement flooding additional resources are included at the end of this section. Image: Is a summarized list of measures a home owner can take to protect their basement from flooding. If your home has a basement you can have a basement flood. All measures listed will provide the knowledge and best practices on how to avoid a flood. However the risk of basement flooding is never entirely avoidable. If you have a basement there will always be a risk that conditions can occur that will cause a basement flood. 

Flood Reduction Options for Homeowners

Knowledge and Understanding:

Talk to your municipality or local utility about basement flooding
Notify your municipality if and when you have experienced basement flooding
Undertake a detailed plumbing investigation on your home
Understand your insurance coverage
Know your responsibilities as a homeowner
Avoid pouring fats, oils and grease down your sinks
Reduce household water use during heavy rainfall
Avoid storing anything directly on the basement floor
Avoid making the basement high-value living space
Know your responsibilities as a homeowner
Keep the nearest catch basins clear of debris
Proactively seal cracks and holes in your foundation walls and floor
Look for and eliminate any direct surface inflow points
Maintain your eavestroughs and downspouts
Downspout disconnection, extension and splash pads

Highly Effective with more Effort and Expense :

Control surface water around your home: lot grading, backfilling and swales
Control ground water around your foundation: weeping tiles, sump-pits and sump pumps
Install a backwater sanitary valve
Conduct sewer lateral maintenance
Sever the storm lateral
Consider the implications of reverse-slope driveways
Consider window wells and window-well covers

Part of reducing the risk of basement flooding for your home is having knowledge and a solid understanding of such things as the general flood risk of your area, what the municipality knows or does not know about it, insurance considerations as well as basic knowledge about how your homes plumbing and drainage systems work. As a homeowner you are responsible for your connections to the municipal systems and for what you put into those connections. In summary though a few items that are noteworthy for the average home owner to know and understand. The sewer lateral has shared ownership. The municipality is responsible for the portion from the property line to the sewer main. The homeowner is responsible for the portion on private-property generally from the property line to the home. Responsibility includes general maintenance and upkeep of this connecting pipe.