Appleby basement flood checklist

The storm we had last night hit Burlington East hard and many Appleby Line residents woke to a rising sewer lake in their basements. Sewer systems couldn't handle the amount of water and backed-up through basement drains.

“When I woke this morning and opened the basement door,” said Appleby Line resident Chris Carr, “I could hear the gurgling of water rushing in through the basement drain. The water kept rising as the rain poured down. Shortly after the rain stopped, the water drained, as fast as it came in.”

Climate change could be blamed. Intense storms causing basement flooding events that are suppose to happen only once every 50 years, occurred twice since 2006 according to Halton Region.

If you’re hit by a basement flood, here are some steps to take:

  • Shut off your furnace and other electrical appliances. You don't want to get electricuted.

  • Start your clean-up immediately. Don't wait. If your basement isn't dry within 48 hours mold will start growing. This will lead to a more difficult and expensive clean up.

  • Call Halton Region. They're very helpful. The Region provides a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week emergency service for homeowners with flood problems from the sanitary system. Call Access Halton at 905-825-6000 or toll-free at 1-866-442-5866.

  • Halton doesn't charge for cleaning a blockage that occurs on the municipal side of the property line. However, a flat rate is charged for clearing a blockage on your property. Calling them could be less costly than calling a plumber even if you have to pay. The Region will also advise you through their outside consultants on your next step.

  • Call your insurance company as soon as possible, to make a claim. They will also advise you on what you should do next. For most people, ff the flooding was due to a sewer backup there may be a $2,000 insurance deductible. If the flood was caused by water coming in through your window, you’re not covered.

  • Take pictures and document everything.

  • Arrange a clean up. If you decide to do it yourself, be careful about your health and safety when cleaning a flooded basement. Sewer water is 95 per cent water but it could contain all kinds of nasty things. Besides being unsanitary, floodwater could also contain irritants, broken glass, corrosive cleaning agents and sharp objects.

  • Stay out of the basement and contact a professional immediately to dry, clean and sanitize your basement. Insurance companies can recommend a qualified contractor.

  • Be careful of spoiled food. Some electrical appliances like freezers may stop working within 48 hours after a flood.

For more information on what to do when your basment is flooded click the Halton Region website here.

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