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Basement Flood Prevention Checklist

Apr 20, 2020 4:16:07 PM

Last Saturday afternoon I was startled by a strange alarm coming from my Alarm system. We ran to the panel and saw that it was the flood sensor on my sump pump. I rushed downstairs and over wet carpet to the sump pump and when I lifted the cover I saw that it was overflowing with cold, murky run-off water. Hopefully not many others will have to deal with a similar situation, but just in case, here's a checklist that would have helped me prevent this problem!


The fast melting snow we're experiencing all around Alberta could leave some of us at risk for basement flooding. Luckily, this is usually a preventable problem. For me, my problem was a 30 year old sump pump that had just given up. Instead of laying on wet carpet and reaching my entire arms into freezing cold water on a Saturday afternoon, I could have tested my pump before the big melt.

The Intact Centre for Climate Adaptation has put together a helpful Checklist for Basement Flooding Prevention to help prevent you from having the same issues that I did this spring. If we monitor and maintain just 4 areas, most of us can prevent these springtime disasters.

  1. Maintain Your Home’s Flood Protection Features at Least Twice Per Year
    • Remove debris from nearest storm drain
    • Clean out eavestroughs
    • Test sump pump(s) and backup power source
    • Clean out backwater valve
    • Maintain plumbing, appliances and fixtures
    • Test flood alarms
  2. Keep Water Out of Your Basement
    • Correct grading to direct water at least 2m away from your foundation
    • Extend downspouts and sump discharge pipes to direct water at least 2m away from your
    • foundation or to the nearest drainage swale
    • Install window well covers
    • Install window wells that are 10-15cm above the ground and are sealed at the foundation
    • Install water-resistant basement windows
    • Install a backwater valve (work with a plumber and get required permits)
  3. Prepare to Remove Any Water from Your Basement as Quickly as Possible
    • Remove obstructions to the basement floor drain
    • Install a back-up sump pump and power source
  4. Protect Personal Belongings in Your Basement
    • Store valuables in watertight containers or remove
    • Store hazardous materials (paints, chemicals) in watertight containers or remove
    • Raise electronics off the floor
    • Select removable area rugs and furnishings that have wooden or metal legs

Download the Full Checklist Here


Rob Stevenson

Written by Rob Stevenson


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