Pro Tips on What to Do During a Basement Flood in Mississauga

Water pooling across the floor of a basement flooding in Mississauga, ON.
Basement flooding is every Mississauga homeowner’s worst nightmare. Going to sleep thinking that everything is fine only to wake up and discover contaminated water ruining your belongings and damaging your home is truly an awful plumbing emergency.

No one wants to deal with the damages of basement flooding. What to do? Before we tell you to stay calm, now is the best time to learn about the potential causes and how to prevent them. The reality is that sewer backups or heavy rainfall and snowmelt can severely affect properties. One of the worst parts of a basement flood in Mississauga ON is the moment you discover it and panic, not knowing what to do.

That’s why our expert Mississauga plumbers at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Mississauga put together this blog so that when disaster strikes, you know a few key steps to take in responding to basement flooding. Likewise, we’ve compiled our expert advice for preventing future incidents and outlined when you should call our plumbing technicians.

What Should I Do if My Basement is Flooding?

As soon as you discover this emergency plumbing disaster in your Mississauga home, you should ensure the safety of your family. On the offset, you may not know where the water is coming from and you don’t want your children anywhere near contaminated water. Additionally, if the electricity is still on, no one should enter the basement due to the risk of electrical shock.

Shut Off Your Power

Once you have confirmed your family is safe, turn off your home’s electricity and gas right away, assuming it’s in a safe area. To do this, you will need to find your circuit breaker, which could be located in your garage, outside by your meter, or in your basement.

If it’s in a flooded area in the basement, you’ll need to call your electricity provider in Mississauga to turn off your power remotely.

Act Fast

Once your power has been shut off, take action against the flood right away. You’ll want to move quickly to prevent as much damage to your home as possible. If the basement flooding is due to heavy rain, you’ll have to wait until the rain stops to act.

We recommend calling your licensed and insured Mississauga plumbers for emergency plumbing service. Our courteous and professional staff is just one phone call away, 24/7, to assist with emergencies like a basement flood in Mississauga ON.

While you’re waiting for our expert team to arrive, there are a few things you can do to avoid water damage:

  1. Wear Boots and Gloves for Protection

In the event of basement flooding, be sure to wear the correct safety gear. Whether you encounter sewage or just dirty water, you will need protection. We advise wearing rubber boots and cleaning gloves at the minimum. We also suggest wearing clothes that you don’t mind damaging.

Important: Please keep in mind that if the water in your home is higher than two feet, do not take any action until your Mississauga plumber is there to handle it.

  1. Figure Out Where the Water Is Coming From

Locating the cause of your basement flood in Mississauga ON will help you with the next step. You might have a burst pipe that’s filling up your home. In this case, you’ll need to turn off your main water shutoff valve right away to avoid water damage. These valves in Mississauga homes are typically located in the basement, either near the front of the house or in the room where your hot water tank is situated. Turn the valve counterclockwise to cut off your supply line.

  1. Check Your Floor Drain For Clogs

Most Mississauga homes have a floor drain—especially if you live in a part of the GTA that is more prone to flooding, such as Cooksville Creek, Applewood, or Lisgar. Check the floor drain to ensure it’s not blocked by debris or household items. This will help the flood water safely drain out of your home.

  1. Remove Water from the Basement

If you don’t have the equipment or feel unsafe in moving water away from the basement flood in your Mississauga ON home, we suggest waiting until our plumbing team arrives to help. However, if you feel comfortable doing that by yourself, you can use the following methods:

  • Sump pump: Your sump pump is meant to automatically pump away water from your home in the event of basement flooding or when the water table beneath your Mississauga home reaches a certain water level. If your sump pump isn’t pumping away excess fluid, it likely has a problem with the float (or the flood has overwhelmed your sump pump).
  • Wet/dry vacuum: A wet/dry vacuum or shop vacuum works for clearing up a small amount of flood in your home. However, if your basement flood in Mississauga ON is more than a few inches, then shop vacuums will be less efficient because of their size. For safety reasons, we do not recommend using a conventional vacuum to clean up flooded water.
  • Utility pump: Utility pumps are portable pumps that can be used if your sump pump fails.
  • Mop and bucket: You can use a mop and bucket to clean up minor basement flooding.
  • Professional assistance: In the event of a serious basement flood in Mississauga ON or you don’t have the tools to clean up the mess on your own, then it’s best to call your expert Mississauga plumbers. We have the certified equipment, qualifications, and experience to efficiently handle this job.
  1. Move Damaged Items Out of the Way

For items that have been damaged by basement flooding—that are not electrical items—give them 48 hours to dry. Move away furniture and plastic storage boxes to a dry, ventilated area if possible, whether it’s your backyard or your upstairs living area. If after 48 hours your possessions are not completely dry, they likely will have to be thrown away. Do not keep wet cardboard boxes as bacteria will grow in the damp cardboard and damaged wood is prone to rot.

  1. Do Not Touch Electrical Items Like Televisions, Stereos, or Lamps

While it’s tempting to move your costly electrical items out of the affected area, anything that uses electricity should not be moved until they have dried completely. That includes any type of electrical wiring. Leave any electrical items to dry in place to avoid electrocution.

  1. Remove and Rip Up Carpeting

Wet carpeting is a breeding ground for bacteria and discoloration. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to save any carpet after basement flooding. Besides, your subfloor will require room to dry (if not already damaged). In rare cases, you may be able to save your carpets and reinstall them after drying. But your basement in Mississauga will most likely need new flooring.

  1. Allow Your Basement Up to a Week to Dry

Depending on the severity of your basement flood in Mississauga ON, you may need to give the area up to a week to dry out. Mississauga can have quite humid weather in both the summer and winter, which is not ideal in enabling your wet basement to dry out quickly. A few ways to speed along the drying process include:

  • Opening windows: Fresh air—particularly in the summer—can do wonders for drying, especially if you have basement windows.
  • Using fans: Circulating the air with fans in your basement will help wet areas dry more efficiently. This is especially helpful in the winter months.
  • Using a dehumidifier: If your basement does not have very good ventilation or the weather is particularly humid, you may need a dehumidifier to help the area dry out.
  1. Remove Any Silt or Grime

Even if your basement flood in Mississauga ON was not due to sewage, you will still need to thoroughly clean your floors, walls, and anything else the flood water touched. This helps prevent further damage, bacterial growth and keeps your basement clean and healthy for future use. The best cleaning methods involve:

  • Using soap and warm water: That will be sufficient to clean up the most affected areas.
  • Scrubbing any discoloration with bleach: If you spot any bacterial growth or discoloration, go over these areas with bleach. If your basement flooding was particularly bad, you may want to go over any of the areas you clean with soap and water with a diluted bleach solution to clean thoroughly. Typically, 1/2 cup of bleach per gallon of water is sufficient.
  1. Remove Wet or Damaged Drywall and Insulation

Like carpeting, damaged drywall, and insulation can’t be saved. Unfortunately, the water during that basement flood in Mississauga ON is full of dirt and contaminants that could cause fungal or bacterial growth in your drywall and insulation. That said, we also recommend having a foundation expert check your home’s foundation wall and structural integrity.

Why Do I Have a Basement Flood in Mississauga ON?

Aside from heavy rainfall that can lead to flash flooding, such as the GTA floods in 2013, there are many other causes of basement floods in Mississauga ON. Some of these causes include:

A Blocked or Broken Sewer Line

Tree roots and debris can clog up a home’s main sewer line. The result is that wastewater will not be able to properly flow away from your house. Instead, it will flow back into your home and cause basement flooding because it has nowhere else to go.

The Sewer Is Full

Sometimes a sewer backup is not caused by damage from tree roots, but because it’s too full and is not able to dispose of domestic waste properly. Once again, when your sewer line is blocked, it moves the wastewater back into your home because it can’t escape through the correct channels to your sewer system and has nowhere to go. During the inspection, your Mississauga plumber will strongly recommend drain cleaning and sewer cleaning to prevent the need for a potential sewer repair.

Water Supply Line Break

A water supply line is what brings clean water into the house. If it breaks, then water that is meant to stay within your plumbing system will cause a basement flood in Mississauga ON. Our plumbing emergency includes water line repairs.

Hot Water Tank Failure

In most Mississauga homes, the water heater tank is located in the basement. If the tank breaks, then the water it holds will spill out into your basement. For this reason, we recommend annual inspections that include flushing and parts replacement.

Failing Sump Pump

If your Mississauga basement is built below a water table, you will have a sump pump. A sump pump is responsible for moving water that leaks into your home from a rising water table away from your house. If your sump pump fails or is overwhelmed by that excess water, you will likely have a basement flood in Mississauga ON.

How to Prevent A Flooded Basement in the Future

It doesn’t help to live in an area that has a high flood risk. While unforeseen disasters and accidents do happen, there are a few things you can do to prevent a basement flood and other plumbing failures in your Mississauga home:

  • Install a backwater valve on your sewer line (there are different types of backwater valves)
  • Install an automatic main water shut-off valve on your incoming potable water line. It is hooked up to sensors throughout the house so that when the sensors detect moisture, it automatically turns the supply off.
  • Inspect your Mississauga basement walls for cracks, weak spots, windows that are not installed correctly (as water could leak in), and signs of water damage. Sealing these areas will help you troubleshoot possible problem areas.
  • Seal up any basement exterior openings, including window wells and vents. Proper sealing and waterproofing can help prevent basement flooding in Mississauga ON.
  • Hire the professionals at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Mississauga to inspect and maintain your basement. Our team of experts will complete thorough repairs and offer basement waterproofing services.
  • Clean out your drain pipes every year. Our qualified Mississauga plumbers offer thorough, non-invasive drain cleaning services that will help keep your home’s plumbing running smoothly.
  • Regularly inspect your sewer lines for blockages and damage from roots. Making sure to perform foundation repair when necessary and crack repair.
  • Grade your landscape away from your Mississauga home. Water travels downhill, so if you have the land around your home angled away from the house, this helps prevent pooling at the base of your home.
  • Extend your downspouts to five feet away from your home. This will effectively move stormwater and snowmelt away from your Mississauga home.
  • Clean out the rain gutters at least once a year. Clogged gutters don’t move precipitation away from your home. Rather, it will spill out of the gutters and degrade the structural foundation of your house.
  • Regularly inspect the sump pump. Test it once a year to make sure nothing is blocking the float switch in the event of a flood. Sump pumps are excellent at flood prevention when properly maintained.
  • To boost your basement waterproofing systems, have Mississauga plumbers help you install an interior perimeter drain system or a weeping tile for underground drainage to better protect your foundation.

When to Call the Professionals at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Mississauga

Our courteous, skillful, and qualified team of professional plumbers is on-call 24/7 to help you with emergency plumbing services. Additionally, we can help troubleshoot your plumbing to prevent possible floods down the line.

We invite you to give our friendly staff a call or request an in-person job estimate online to prevent flood damage to your Mississauga home today. We proudly serve residents of Mississauga and nearby communities, such as Cooksville, Erin Mills, and Dixie.