Many business owners assume that if their building hasn’t experienced flooding before then it won’t happen anytime soon. While this isn’t necessarily true, the good news is there are things you can do to protect your property from flood damage.
According to Environment Canada, the most common type of flooding in Canada is snowmelt runoff which is caused by large quantities of water being released by melting snow. It generally happens during spring due to warmer weather, winds, and sunlight but the tips below can help prevent it from affecting your building.
Outside your building
- Seal off your structure: Cracks in walls, windows, floors and foundations enable water to get in so apply waterproofing sealant as needed.
- Say goodbye to snow: By removing the snow around your building’s foundation — especially near window wells — you protect yourself from all that water when it melts.
- Clear catch basins: Ice, snow and debris can build up on catch basins during winter, remove it facilitates drainage.
- Due diligence on downspouts: Downspouts should be clear of obstructions, much like catch basins. They should also extend to at least two meters away from your foundation.
- Don’t forget the roof: Removing excess snow from your roof will prevent it from melting and dripping near your foundation. This task can be dangerous so consider a professional service – they can also clear your eaves troughs while they’re at it.
- A pump, perhaps: If water is still pooling near your foundation, it might be best to rent a pump and drain it into a gutter.
Inside your building
- Know your plumbing system: Verifying that your plumbing and drainage system is in proper working order can go a long way towards preventing flooding in the basement of your business property. Consulting a professional is recommended.
- Patch the inside, too: Similar to outdoor maintenance, cracks in walls and pipe blockages need to be fixed.
- Keep pipes clear: An easy way to help keep your plumbing system clear is not flushing trash down the toilet or pouring any fats or oil down the drain.
- Install a backflow valve or sump pump: Yes, these solutions are more time consuming and costly than all the others but are well worth it in many cases. Sump pumps collect water that accumulates around your business while backflow valves protect your water supply from contamination.
- Be prepared for a power outage: Some flood prevention technology (like sump pumps) needs electricity to run so consider getting a backup power source for those winter blackouts.
Your best defence against flooding this spring is preparing yourself and the tips above will help you do just that. Take that preparation a step further by making sure you’re familiar with your insurance policy if flooding does occur. It will not only help your business thrive this spring but year round as well.