Property improvements you can make today
Inside your property
- Use water-resistant building materials for renovations below ground level.
- Put weather protection sealant around basement windows and the base of ground-level doors.
- Install flood shields or barriers for basement windows and doors. The tops of the shields should extend above ground level. Raise large appliances, furnaces, hot water heaters, and electrical panels up on wood or cement blocks above the potential water level. (If an item can’t be raised, consider anchoring it and protecting it with a floodwall or shield.)
- Anchor fuel tanks to the floor. In a flood, a fuel tank can tip over or float, causing fuel to leak and potentially catch fire. Make sure vents and fill-line openings are above flood levels. (If you use propane, contact the propane company before making any changes.)
- If a flood warning is in effect, shut off electricity to areas that are at risk of flooding.
- Move furniture, valuables, and electronics to the safest place in your property that is least likely to be affected by flooding.
- Make sure your plumbing system and drains follow Code requirements.
- Install backwater valves or plugs for drains, toilets and other sewer connections.
- Make sure your sump pump is working and install a battery-operated backup, in case of a power failure.
- Install a water alarm to let you know if water is accumulating in your basement.
On your property
- Make sure that your lot is properly graded. If possible, build up the ground around your property so that water can drain away from basement walls.
- Make sure downspouts extend at least 2 m (6’) from your basement wall. Water should drain away from your property and neighbouring properties.
- Check that your roof and eaves are draining properly in heavy rains.
- Check sidewalks, patios, decks and driveways to make sure they haven’t settled over time and are causing water to drain toward your property. Clear snow away from the building’s foundation. If the ground is sloped one inch per foot near the building, moving snow just three to five feet from the building will reduce problems.
- Use a rain barrel to catch water runoff.
- Consider planting a “rain garden” by using landscaping as way to catch and disperse water in the soil near your property. Use native plants and vegetation that will resist soil erosion.
- If you have a livestock farm, remember that livestock have a natural instinct to flee flooding. Livestock will initially panic during flash floods, which complicates livestock handling. They will seek higher ground if possible. When purchasing or designing your livestock operation, it is important that your livestock have access to higher ground in flood-prone areas. Without access, livestock are at greater risk of drowning or breaking out of pastures.