What to do if Your Basement is Flooded
- Contact Toronto Hydro to have your power shut off to prevent shock or electrocution in the event that water has risen above outlets, near the electrical panel, etc.
- If you suspect the flooding could be the result of a sewer back-up, do not use toilets and sinks unless it is absolutely necessary until the issue has been resolved. Any water sent down the drain may end up in your basement.
- Contact the City of Toronto by calling 311 or visiting 311 to enter a self-service request.
- City staff will inspect the problem, assess the flooding and attempt to determine the source(s) of the flooding.
- Call your insurance company as soon as possible and report property damage caused by the flooding.
- Take photos of damage caused by the flooding and keep receipts from emergency repair or clean-up work.
- If the flooding is a result of a blocked drain pipe, leaking foundation walls or poor lot drainage on your property, then you are responsible for repairs and any subsequent damage caused by flooding.
- You may submit a claim to the City of Toronto.
- Your claim will be forwarded to the City’s insurance adjusters for evaluation. A letter of acknowledgement will be sent to you.
Health and Safety Considerations
Be mindful of health and safety with a flooded basement. Homeowners may be exposed to waterborne diseases, corrosive cleaning agents and irritants found in leftover sludge from a flooded basement. Electrical accidents may occur because of contact with water and electricity. If possible, shut off electrical power.
- Consider hiring a professional cleaning company familiar with cleaning sewage contaminated basements.
- Keep children and pets out of the affected area until cleanup has been completed.
- Dress appropriately – wear full-length clothing, gloves, protective eyeglasses, rubber boots and a mask.
- Stay away from electrical equipment. Have a licensed electrical contractor assess the situation to determine if there are potential electrical hazards.
- Water could extinguish a pilot light on a gas appliance. If you detect gas, leave the house immediately and contact the gas company.
- Discard all contaminated items that cannot be washed and disinfected (i.e. textiles).
- Wash all surfaces with hot water and liquid detergent, rinse and thoroughly dry and ventilate the area.
- Sanitize walls and floors using a solution of household bleach (mix 1 cup bleach with 5 gallons of water).
- Remove and discard drywall and insulation that has been contaminated with sewage or flood waters.
- Wash all clothes worn during the cleanup in hot water and detergent.
- Discard any packaged or non-packaged food items that may have come in contact with the flood waters.