Flood Preparedness Tips for Your Home and Business

According to the government of Canada, floods are the most frequent natural hazard in the country. They can occur at any time of the year but are on the rise during the spring due to the heavy rainfall and rapidly melting snow. Potential flooding is not limited to homes but can have a significant impact on businesses as well.

Follow these flood preparedness tips for property and construction projects below to help minimize the potential damage to your home or business.

  1. Use Flood Damage-Resistant Materials

Certain construction materials can help reduce the amount of water damage your home or business suffers in the event of a flood. These special materials can handle direct contact with floodwaters for up to 72 hours without sustaining the kind of significant damage that will require major repairs.

Here are the top flood-resistant materials to consider before building or remodelling certain areas of your property:

  • Floors - concrete, pressure-treated lumber, or clay and ceramic tiles
  • Walls & Ceilings - brick, metal, concrete and stone
  • Doors - hollow metal doors and cabinets instead of solid wood
  • Surfaces - polyester epoxy paint for added protection 


  1. Raise Electrical System Components

Water and electricity don't mix, which means floods can wreak havoc on your property's electrical system. You could face costly equipment repairs or even fall victim to a devastating fire sparked by live wires coming into direct contact with water. Raising your electrical system components can go a long way toward protecting your property when water gets involved.

Follow these tips to get started:

  • Consult with a licensed professional to find out how high you can move electrical meters, switches and outlets. Your local power company can also help you determine how high you can raise your power meter.
  • Upgrade your fuse box to a more modern circuit breaker system so it can handle high fluctuations in power.


  1. Utilize Sewer Backflow Valves

Sometimes floodwaters can cause sewage from your sewer lines to back up, pushing contaminated water back through drainage pipes and into your home or business. This damage is not only costly, but also a serious health risk. Installing a backflow valve can prevent overloaded drain pipes from pushing return flow into your property. Configurations range from simple flap-style valves to complex gate valves and those with both.

Consider the following tips before choosing a sewer backflow valve:

  • Look for complex valve designs that use both flap and gate styles for extra protection.
  • All valves should be installed on the main waste drain pipes leaving your building, or lines connected to equipment below the designated flood level.
  • Only allow a licensed plumbing company to make alterations to your plumbing or sewer lines.
  • Structures with sump pumps use underground lines, which may be more difficult to seal.

Wherever you live or work, a flood could affect you. Having the right preparations in place can help reduce damage to your property during a flood and mitigate safety risks for your family or co-workers. Once the waters have subsided, you can depend on the professionals at ServiceMaster Restore to help reverse any damage your property did sustain. Our expert teams are available 24/7/365 to provide the help you need to get your property back to normal as soon as possible after a flood.