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Flooding can be Disasterous for Homeowners *Part 1: Keep the water out

“With the heavy rains of late and more inevitable rain in the forecast, you may want to think about flood-proofing your property.” GJ MacRae, a waterproofing expert from Oakville, couldn’t agree more. Waterproofing is required anytime a structure is built. Waterproofing and drainage considerations are needed in cases where groundwater is likely to build up in the soil and raise the water table.

This can cause major structural damage to foundation walls and is likely to contribute to mold, decay and other moisture related problems. Torrential rains can come without warning, so the best practice is to take precautions to help prevent floods, leaks and water seepage.

There are a few things to consider for advance flood-proofing, especially if you know that your home is located in an area with a higher risk of a flood. Keep flood water out and reduce the risk of it causing extensive and costly damage. This might mean adding waterproof seals, installing backflow valves in drains and getting shields for doors and windows.

Waterproofing materials are available for home improvement, building and renovation projects. Before beginning, consider and investigate the structural elements of your home;

  • Check exterior walls and apply sealant. Repairing the mortar is referred to as pointing and can help to prevent water entry.
  • Install windows and doors that are water-resistant. Add a fitted purpose-built flood board and raise door thresholds to keep water out.
  • Replace wooden floorboards with concrete or damp-proof materials. Water will often enter where the walls and floors join.
  • If you fit your home with air bricks for better ventilation, use specially designed covers to fit over top when flooding is expected.
  • Prevent waste water from flowing back into your home through sewage pipes. Fit your drains and pipes with non-return valves, mainly for ground floor sinks and toilets.

If you know your property is located in an area that is vulnerable to flooding there are a few important steps to take outdoors too;

  • Design your landscape and gardens so that rainwater is diverted away from your home and provides areas for adequate run-off.
  • Free-standing flood-barriers help in a temporary situation and often neighbours will collectively form a barrier, which helps to reduce costs and increase safety to several houses in one area.
  • Sandbags or modern sandless sandbags are the most widely used flood barrier and can be purchased from your local building supply chain.

man carrying sandbag during flooding
Image Credit CR Artist

Waterproofing your home becomes necessary when the foundation begins to leak or let moisture through. The CityWide Group has been waterproofing foundations for nearly 50 years. They provide both the materials and top professionals to waterproof any type of foundation providing a lifetime, fully transferable warranty with their service.

Basement foundations could potentially leak for various reasons:

  • A congested weeping tile system, where the water can no longer flow due to a blockage from debris
  • Soil or tree roots
  • Horizontal or vertical cracks in the foundation or block separation
  • Voids where the foundation and footing meet
  • Improper original waterproofing installation

basement foundation fixed
Image Credit CityWide Group

Waterproofing professionals at RCC Waterproofing, serving the greater Toronto area, suggest that a heavy rainfall can result in a bigger problem than you may have had in the first place.

Although you may not be able to forecast the weather, you can take precautionary steps to prevent wet basements and safeguard your family’s health, your most cherished possessions and your property’s value.

By Dawn Boshcoff

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