Windsor

'It's a matter of when': Windsorites sealing basement windows, re-routing drainage in anticipation of flooding

Jason Veno says that more and more of his customers are choosing to pre-empt flooding concerns by renovating their homes, sealing of basement windows and taking steps to redirect the flow of water around their properties. 

The best solution is a multi-step approach, says home flooding expert

The potential of strong water surges along Lake Erie may result in damage to shorelines, warns ERCA. (Essex Region Conservation Authority)

More and more of Jason Veno's customers are choosing to pre-empt flooding concerns by renovating their homes, sealing basement windows and taking steps to redirect the flow of water around their properties. 

Veno, who owns Veno Construction in Windsor, said that water levels around a recent Riverside Drive customer's house afforded only 25 feet before reaching the property. 

To protect the home against flooding, Veno removed four old wooden windows around the house, locked in the empty space with concrete and used a tar membrane to seal it all off. 

Still, Veno acknowledged that sealing off basement windows isn't a "100 per cent guarantee of anything … because who knows how high the water is going to go?"

"But it's guaranteed to redirect and add to the barrier with the insulation of that tar membrane," he added.

No guarantee of success

While homeowners have the option of sealing in their basements to avoid potential flooding, Cheryl Evans said that there's no guarantee water will stay out.

Evans is the program director with the University of Waterloo's Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation Home Flood Protection Program.

"Unless you've designed a submarine window, you really can't be guaranteed that if there's a huge volume of water with a huge amount of pressure, that that's going to keep the flooding out," said Evans.

It's not just windows that need to be protected, but all spaces around a home.

"If there's any kind of gap … the water can come there as well," said Evans. "It depends on the quality of the window, the quality of the insulation and what it's designed to."

Evans said that the best option to prevent flooding is a combination of different efforts, including physical barriers, waterproof membranes, backup sump pumps and proper drainage that directs water away from a home. 

"I think it's important to work with an engineering qualified professional."

Water levels in Windsor-Essex are at record highs, with Lake Erie having broken both the all-time June record and the all-time high monthly mean record last month. 

With files from Windsor Morning

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