Flooding can happen fast and without warning. It is often triggered by melting snow and ice or by heavy or sustained rainfall or both. Basement flooding can also be caused by home plumbing problems, sewer blockages or other back-ups.
When ice and snow melts or when leaves fall at the end of the summer, it is important to ensure that the run-off water around your property can easily flow into the roadside catch basins. In Mississauga, there are approximately 55,000 catch basins located throughout the City, oftentimes marked with a yellow arrow painted on the road. We ask that residents assist with keeping them clear of ice and snow in the winter and leaves and other debris during the warmer months.
To keep your basement dry, you may wish to have equipment like a sump pump and back-up power supply such as a battery or generator (sump pumps and batteries are often sold as a kit). These pumps will pump out water that collects around your basement and can reduce flood damage. Backflow preventer valves can also help prevent stormwater or sewage from backing up your basement floor drain. These devices can work together to help protect your basement from flooding.
For more tips, visit the City's stormwater page.
After a Flood
Flooding can cause hazardous conditions in and around your home. If your home has been flooded and the floodwater is gone, be aware of electrical, natural gas and building structural hazards when returning to your home.
Make safety your first priority:
- Keep children and pets away from flooded areas
- Inspect flood damages in daylight. Watch out for electrical, gas or building structure hazards. For darker areas such as your basement, and if safe to do so, use battery powered flashlights.
- If you detect gas, leave the building immediately before using your phone and contact Alectra Utilities to have your gas shut off.
- Document damages to your home and call your insurance company and the Region of Peel to report the flooding.
- Floodwater is typically contaminated and mould growth is likely 48 hours after flooding. Adding small amounts of household chlorine to standing water can slow the growth, but not stop it.
- Use caution when removing deep water from your basement. Ensure that water outside your home has completely receded. Remove only 1/3 of the volume daily as rapid removal of deep water may cause damage to the foundation. Contact your insurance company for guidance.
- Remove small quantities of water with pails or pumps and use a wet-dry vacuum for the rest.
- Open doors and windows as much as the weather permits during clean-up. If power is available, use fans to increase ventilation.
- Do not use any flooded gas, electrical appliances or heating equipment (including the ductwork) until it has been checked by a qualified technician and is certified safe to use.
- Due to mould hazards, do not move back into your home until the flood debris removal and cleaning are completed.
- Restore electricity and gas service and use appliances only when safe to do so.
Cleaning up from water damage once the water is gone:
- Contact your insurance company regarding clean-up. Some insurance policies require that professional cleaning services be used, especially if mould covers more than 100 sq. feet.
- Wear protective clothing gloves, overalls, rubber boots and N95 masks if you think mould is present.
- Open windows and use fans to ventilate.
- Remove flood debris carefully. Floodwater is contaminated and debris may contain hazardous household chemicals or sharp materials. Work from top to bottom.
- Remove and dispose of drywall, insulation and wall coverings to at least 50 cm (20 inches) above the high water line.
- Remove and dispose of saturated flooring materials.
- Dispose of items that were immersed in floodwater or covered in mould and can’t be cleaned, for example: food and medicines, computers and electronics, cosmetics and personal care products, mattresses, carpets, box springs, bedding, stuffed toys, pillows, upholstered furniture, insulation, particleboard and contents of freezers and refrigerators.
- Wash, wipe down and rinse all surfaces with detergent and water.
- Flush, disinfect and rinse floor drains, sump pumps, sumps and pumping equipment.
- Ventilate and dehumidify all cleaned surfaces until completely dry. The process may take several days or weeks.
What might be salvaged:
- Solid wood furniture and frames may be saved if they are cleaned, disinfected, rinsed and dried away from heat and sunlight. Remove or open doors. Please note that rapid drying can cause cracking.
- Hard, non-porous objects like dishes, cutlery, glass, porcelain and jewelry.
- Some clothing can be professionally cleaned or washed repeatedly with detergent.
- Remove all electronics to a dry environment if they haven’t been immersed in water.
- To stop mould from growing, freeze books and documents until they can be dried.
Make sure that all areas of the home that were impacted by floodwater are cleaned, disinfected and fully dry before beginning construction. If construction starts before everything has dried out, serious problems can result.
Water supply to your home after flooding:
Make sure that that drinking water has not been contaminated with flood water. If you are not sure, boil drinking water for ten minutes or use purification tablets. Visit the Region of Peel's tap water webpage for concerns about water supply to your home after a flood.
Flooding and Drainage Links: