With the onslaught of major rainstorms we’ve had in Edmonton, Sherwood Park and Strathcona County this year, it comes as a good (or sometimes painful) reminder that homeowners should be protecting their homes from heavy rain damage and flooding.
June 2022 saw near-record rain with almost 124mm falling, compared to an average of just 77mm. Edmonton weather is unpredictable but always involves summer storms, which makes heavy rain home protection a priority for homeowners.
How to protect your home from Edmonton’s heavy rain.
If it’s one thing living in and around Edmonton teaches us, it’s that the weather can be downright volatile. Even in drier years, just one heavy rainstorm causes many homes to flood…but this can be prevented!
Many of the flooded basements we’ve seen recently are due to clogged eves troughs overflowing which allowed water to pour over and collect next to the foundation, or in some cases, into window wells.
As much as we love to do a great basement renovation, it pains us when clients are doing it out of a significant loss vs. on their own terms.
It is also important to remember that many insurance claims are denied if the water damage is due to poor maintenance of the eves/window wells that allow groundwater to enter the basement.
To learn more about when and how to clean your eaves throughs, you can download our free home maintenance guide.
Here is what we recommend you do to protect your home from heavy rain.
Keep an eye on your roof all year round.
Check for loose or curled shingles and divots as one exposed spot can quickly create a lot of internal damage. Also, check for damming in the winter. If the ice on your roof gets under shingles it will cause early wear and can even affect the integrity of your roof if left too long.
Clean and seal eavestroughs.
An eavestrough is a trough that catches rainwater that runs along the edge of a home’s roof. As we mentioned already, eaves should be cleaned with a hose or pressure washer at least twice a year, in spring and fall.
If your house is under large trees, you may need to do more cleaning or get gutter screens. Repair or replace any eavestroughs that are pulling away from the fascia boards.
Also, check the seams for drips and leaks and seal them with weather-proof caulking. Leaks tend to be more prevalent on corners where there is a break in the eaves and a change in direction of the water flow.
When rainwater pools around your home, the water seeps into the ground and eventually cracks the foundation. Once cracks form, water seeps in, making your basement damp or wet.
It is extremely important to keep water away from your foundation. This is the most common and most expensive repair on homes and it’s simple to do:
- Check the grading to ensure any run-off water is running away from the foundation.
- Don’t allow exterior water taps to leak when attached to the garden hose.
- Make sure downspouts are always down, in good condition and extend at least 3 feet from your house.
Pro Tip: keep those rain barrels away from the house! An overflowing rain barrel is just as bad as overflowing eaves. Keeping the barrels near the garage or extended out helps ensure overflow moves away from the foundation.
Check sump pump.
If it’s one thing Alberta homes struggle with, it’s sump pumps. Sumps work to remove water by pumping it away from the foundation once water gets to a certain level, but because they are “out of sight/out of mind” they are often forgotten about and neglected.
You can minimize the risk of flooding during rain by checking your sump pump every year in March by lifting the float switch. The pump should start up when you lift the float; if it doesn’t that means you need to repair or replace the pump.
Be sure to do this before the end of March so that it can do its job when the big melt comes.
We also highly recommend placing an alarm on your sump pump that connects to your phone. This way you are notified immediately if it malfunctions.
Don’t forget window wells.
Often forgotten as a potential flood hazard, window wells also need to be maintained. All window wells contain a functioning drain that carries water into a drainage system or out to the street.
This drain is usually beneath several inches of gravel which is used to protect the drainpipe yet allow water to flow through to it. If the gravel is clogged with leaves, garbage, or anything else the water will simply fill the window well and likely pour into your basement through the window.
Check your basement window seals and ensure the window wells stay clean of debris to allow for proper drainage.
If your basement has been damaged by flooding, give us a call for a free consultation and quote to get it back to being a space you love. And don’t forget you can download our free home maintenance guide – complete with a yearly calendar!