FAQS - Contractor 

Suggested Questions for Applicant to Ask Contractor

The following questions are provided as information only. For more details, including pictures and diagrams, please refer to Section 2 of the Basement Flooding Overview Brochure (PDF) authored by the Institute of Catastrophic Loss Reduction.


  1. Is poor grading causing my flooding?
  2. Do I have a weeping tile?
  3. What is my weeping tile connected to?
  4. Do I have a sump-pump?
  5. Is my sump-pump working correctly?
  6. Do I need a backwater valve?

Is poor grading causing my flooding?

The slope of your yard is very important to keep water away from your home and foundation. This helps keep the basement dry.

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Do I have a weeping tile?

A weeping tile or foundation drain is an underground perforated pipe that runs along the bottom of a home’s foundation. Older Canadian homes, for example those built before the 1940s or 1950s, may not have foundation drains. If you find that your home does not have a foundation drain and you experience serious infiltration flooding, you should consider having a foundation drain installed.

If you do have a foundation drain, it can become clogged with debris or collapse in some sections. A plumber will need to decide if it can be fixed or it needs to be replaced. If a plumber does fix or replace the weeping tile, ICLR recommends including a cleanout port with access from the surface to allow easier maintenance in the future.

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What is my weeping tile connected to?

A weeping tile that is directly connected to your home’s sanitary sewer lateral increases the amount of water that enters the municipal sewer system during a heavy rainfall. Disconnecting your weeping tile from the sanitary or storm sewer can help reduce the chances that you and your neighbours will experience basement flooding. It can also reduce the risk of structural damage to your home.

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Do I have a sump-pump?

When weeping tiles are disconnected from sewer laterals, a sump-pit and sump-pump must be installed. The sump-pump is used to pump water from the weeping tiles to the lot’s surface. In some unique cases, Municipalities may recommend a sump-pump to pump weeping tile water to the storm sewer system.

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Is my sump-pump working correctly?

Sump-pumps get blocked and can fail if they are not routinely inspected and maintained. On-going maintenance helps to ensure the sump-pump keeps working long term. You can inspect the sump-pump by pouring water into the sump pit, and seeing whether or not the pump starts automatically.

Sump pumps need electricity. They stop working during a power failure. You should use a back-up system to make sure the pump works when you need it. Talk to your plumber or electrician about options.

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Do I need a backwater valve?

A mainline backwater valve is placed directly into the sewer lateral at the foot of your basement wall. The device allows sewage to flow in only one direction – out of your house. When sewage begins to move toward your basement, the valve closes. If you choose to install a backwater valve, make sure that it is a valve approved under the Ontario Building Code, (open-port, mainline backwater valve). Installation of the backwater valve may reduce the cost of insurance or be required as a condition of insurance. This valve is installed directly into the sanitary sewer lateral, and serves to protect all home plumbing fixtures from sewer backup.

Reference Links

Ontario.ca - Your rights when starting home renovations or repairs

Brantford.ca - Currently Licensed Sewer Drain Contractors (Jan 2018) (PDF)

Brantford.ca - Currently Licensed Plumbing Contractors (Jan 2018) (PDF)