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 home owners 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. CITY-Flood-Spread_reduced size

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

      Lifestyle and Use of Space:

              • 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

      Simple and Inexpensive:

              • 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.

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