City of Toronto will subsidize your basement flood-proofing
Homeowners are rushing to flood-proof their homes as Toronto continues to be pelted by rain. And the City is offering subsidies of up to $3,400 help keep basements dry.
Over the past decade, the municipal government has put $37 million toward the costs of flood-proofing for 21,500 properties, through the Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program.
“With increasingly frequent severe weather events, it is essential that homeowners take appropriate action to reduce the risk of basement flooding on their own private property,” reads the program’s webpage.
The subsidies cover 80 per cent of the installation costs of three specific flood prevention devices.
A backwater valve, which prevents sewage from backing up into a home, is subsidized, up to a maximum of $1,250.
A sump pump, to shift water away from the house, is subsidized up to $1,750.
And pipe severance and capping — disconnecting your home’s weeping tile drainage pipe from the city’s sewer system, and covering the opening — is subsidized up to $400.
On average, participating homeowners receive a total of $1,700.
Homeowners must apply to City Hall for the subsidy and obtain a building permit for the backwater valve.
The process can take several weeks, according to the city, which may be too late for some homeowners.
Toronto was soaked by nearly a month’s worth of rain this week, according to Environment Canada weather reports.
Pierre Van Belleghem, co-owner of AquaSeal Basement Waterproofing Contractors, said his company has received over 500 calls this week, from homeowners across Southern Ontario in need of flood protection.
Many Torontonians learned about flood proofing the hard way in July 2013, when a storm that spilt 126mm of rain deluged subway stations, roads, backyards and basements.
The City received over 4,700 complaints of flooding from that storm alone, and a major spike in applications to the basement protection subsidy.
Generally the most common cause of basement floods are cracks in the foundation, said Van Belleghem.
But, during periods of heavy rain, it’s common for window wells to fill with water and leak, he said.
“They become like an aquarium, and the water gets into the basement behind the finished wall… Lately we’ve had a high number of window wells and drains backing-up and flooding people’s finished basements.”
Many of Van Belleghem’s customers are people who have had leaks in the past, and put off getting the issues fixed until now.
“It’s kind of out of sight, out of mind,” he said.
“Then we get a few heavy rainfalls and a forecast for even crazier rainfall in the next days to come… and then people want everything done today.”
Source : https://www.thestar.com/