Spring Thaws Can Lead to Basement Flooding

Melting snow, which is sometime accompanied by rain, can lead to basement flooding. Here are some tips to help:

  • Keep melting snow and ice away from your foundation walls
  • Ensure your downspouts are not blocked and are draining properly, away from your foundation walls.
  • If it is safe to do so, clear debris from roadside catchbasins (the square sewer grates on the road) to help water enter the storm sewer.
  • If you are worried about an immediate threat of basement flooding, prepare your basement by moving valuables to shelves or upper floors. Cleaners, paint or chemicals should also be taken off the floor so that they do not further contaminate any floodwater that may get into your home.
  • If your basement has flooded:
    • Call your insurance company as soon as possible to report property damage caused by flooding.
    • Do not enter a flooded basement as you may be exposed to sewage or come in contact with water and electricity.
    • Be mindful of your health and safety when cleaning up a flooded basement – do not stand in flood water, call a professional for assistance.
    • Call 311 immediately to report basement flooding. During extreme weather call volumes will be high. Calls will be answered by the first available agent. 311 is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • The recent fluctuating temperatures can lead to an increase in watermain breaks. They cause the soil to freeze and expand, leading to additional force on the watermains. If you spot a watermain break, call 311 to report it.
  • Ongoing temperature fluctuations throughout the winter can also lead to frozen pipes. Click here for more information.