In the past, not every home needed a sump pump. Although it’s not bad if your home requires one, there are reasons why sump pumps seem to be needed more often now. Read more to learn about alternatives and what you can do to guard against flooding your basement.
What is causing your basement to flood?There are many reasons for the frequent basement flooding of many of our homes. In the past excess rainfall collected in fields and green spaces, dissipating into the soil over time (remember those wet soccer fields?)
Rainfall is appreciated by the roots of our climate-controlling neighbourhood trees, but without educating people about the importance of planting trees or reducing the concrete in their yards, this surplus rain has no where else to go but into our basement spaces.
- Hard rains and flooding are more frequent and are produced through climate change.
- Diminishing open green space reduces where rain can sit and be naturally absorbed into the ground.
- An over usage of blacktop and concrete surfacing means run off to and from each other’s homes.
- A lack of large trees and shrubs near our homes means compacted soil is more likely to allow run off.
- Overstressed older sewer systems due to the condensed population-housing of high rises throughout many cities means the sewage from hundreds of people living on the footprint of the size of four houses .
Historical, topographical maps of the city in which you live will show original bogs, marshes, rivers, and ponds dotted throughout the area.
Over the decades these subterranean wet areas have been filled in and built upon. With no visual of where the rivers and ponds once were, it is almost impossible to anticipate where heavy rains will overflow these now residential areas with high water-tables.
Our trend to use concrete and asphalt hardscaping while eliminating trees and greenspace contributes to all this flooding:
Read the full Toronto Star story here about the Toronto 2018 flood. This article also discusses environmental government office closings that helped bring attention to stormwater infrastructure to combat the water runoff caused by hardscaping, monitored streamflow, issued warnings, and advised on flood management programs.
As we build our cities more densely, the amount of open green space and tree cover, both crucial natural sponges, diminishes.
If your home doesn’t have a sump pump, you should strongly consider installing one. It feels like a considerable risk to take by not having a sump pump; when the now heavy rains have nowhere to go, they seep in from the edges of the house and below it into your basement, causing flooding and water damage. Several people in Toronto who endured the flood in 2018 did not have their insurance companies cover their flooding disasters.
If your home is built in a historical section of town, you should have a sump pump:
There is a good chance the sewer systems in historical areas are combined between houses, and that means that there is a greater chance of sewage coming up into your basement during a heavy storm. At least with a sump pump, you have the sump pump to bale the sewage.
Sump pump water reservoirs can also take on debris from home renovations if it’s left uncovered. And that isn’t good:
During renovations, make sure your reservoir cover is always on. Take the extra step and duct tape around the hole because tiny debris can still get sucked through the inlet screen. Even a very small wood shaving can lodge itself in the impeller preventing it from rotating. The float can still activate the switch, the motor starts, but the impeller doesn’t take the water away.
What can you do as a homeowner to help guard against flooding?
- Add a French Drain system or an overflow tank on your property
- Be aware of the area your home is located and try to incorporate a permeable surfaced driveway
- Plant trees, shrubs and plants which are part of a natural landscape that thrives on rainfall
- Promote and support sections of permeable surfaces combined with tree cover in parking lots in shopping malls and public spaces
- Plant trees around your home and promote natural environments to cool the city. In turn, you will help lessen the environmental change which causes sudden hard rains which contribute to run off and flooding issues
Plumbhouse Plumbing, Heating and Electrical knows sump pump installation. We are here to help you decide which one to consider for your needs.
Call us at (519) 453 4650
We’re open between 8 and 4:30 Monday – FridayTags: Sump Pumps
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