Fight Flooding: Manage Surface and Groundwater Around Your Home and Foundation

To help prevent flooding that can damage your home and potentially put your family at risk, you must do everything you can within the household and surrounding area. Fortunately, to help reduce the flooding risk, here are important tips to consider:

Control the Surface Water Around Your Home

Lot grading

Lot grading involves sloping the features and ground away from the foundation of your home. “Positive lot grading” is required by code for many new homes, although older homes may not make the cut. Unfortunately, many older homes do not meet the positive lot grading standard due to manipulation of the landscape, settling, and new structural additions (such as decks).

If you want to avoid situations that move water toward your home, you need to ensure that the grading directs water to a natural drainage path or swale. However, you must also ensure that your grading does not pose a flood risk for your neighbours as well.


During construction, disturbed soil may be used to fill in voids around your home. However, the disturbed soil is not as firm as undisturbed soil and can potentially bring water in against the foundation. To avoid possible flooding, you should fill backfilled areas and grade them to help drain water away from your home.


Swales (or ditches) may naturally exist on your property and can be used to effectively drain water away from your home. If you do have ditches (natural or manmade) on your property, it is important not to build structures around them that can disrupt the flow of water.

Control the Ground Water Around Your Foundation

Weeping tiles

A weeping tile is a perforated drain pipe designed to collect water and let it flow to its drainage destination. Weeping tiles are ideal if you have recurring flooding or basement wetness problems, although the procedure is more costly.

If you have a weeping tile in your home, it will need to be maintained to perform at its best. Unfortunately, it is not easy to get to and you may not even know that the system has failed until your basement is flooded.

Sump pits and pumps

Sump pits and pumps work with weeping tiles to help keep water away from your home. The water that is collected by the weeping tile is drained into a sump pit and pumped away by sump pumps. However, just like with weeping tiles, you will need to regularly maintain your sump pump system to keep it working at its best. In addition, you may need a generator to use as a backup power source since many systems run on electricity.

In addition to speaking with your insurance provider, you may also want to look at flood resources (such as “Floods: What to do?”) to help prepare your home and family.

Speak With Your Insurance Provider

Since water damage can greatly affect your homeowners insurance rates, it is essential that you contact house insurance experts to better understand what is and isn’t covered by different policies. After all, if you should experience a disaster, it is the worst time to discover that you are not as protected as you originally thought.

With these handy tips, you can better protect your home and family by drawing away water and keeping everything nice and dry.