Dealing with flooding is never a good thing, and SGI Canada recently shared some precautionary tips.

Water can accumulate quickly, especially in a basement. Modern Canadian homes are constructed to withstand the wide range of weather we have, and according to the SGI release on flood protection the most common mechanisms used are sewer backwater valves and sump pumps.

“Testing and maintaining the flood prevention systems in your home doesn’t take a long time, and you only need to do it once or twice a year,” said Andrew Voroney, EVP and COO at property insurer SGI CANADA. “By having a clean, operational sewer backwater valve and a properly operating sump pump, you can be confident that your home is ready for whatever nature can throw at us.”  

Sewer Backwater via SGI.jpg Photo of sewer backwater valves (Photo via SGI release)

Typically located in the main sewer line in the basement of a home, sewer backwater valves work to keep outside sewage from entering your home. Homeowners only need to check the valve once or twice a year, making it a relatively easy task. It can be opened using a simple crescent wrench and screwdriver, and cleaned using a toilet brush.

Details inside show it's important to check that the flapper valve inside moves freely along with all the floating elements remaining in place, and that if you discover issues that you can’t fix, to call a professional plumber to help you with repairs.  

Wearing gloves and glasses is a good safety tip, and you should attempt to protect the floor around the valve from any splashes causing a mess.

Sump Pump via SGI.jpg Photo of sump pump units (Photo via SGI release)

Should water get in, sump pumps work to pump that unwanted matter out of your basement before it can cause damage. These units are fairly common in Canadian homes, found in a deep sump pit in the home often somewhere near the basement’s outer perimeter.

You can check the sump pump for power by lifting the float, and can always visually inspect the unit for damage and ensure that the power cords are free of damage.

The float test will ensure if it will operate, and it's important to follow the output line of the sump and ensure that it’s moving the water outside of your home and not back into the basement or municipal sewer.

Looking after these systems isn’t the only way to protect your home and contribute to keeping your property dry.

  • Ensuring your downspouts are aimed well away from your foundation
  • Making sure landscaping is graded away from your home
  • Keeping drains around your house clean
  • Using your sewer system correctly  

Again, if you find any issues, call in a professional to help get the sump repaired and prepared.