Our climate is changing and is becoming warmer, wetter and wilder. Floods are now the most frequent natural disaster in Canada. In 2014, about two months’ worth of rain fell during eight hours in parts of Burlington affecting 3,000 households and resulting in $90 million in insured damages.
Did you know that the average cost to restore a basement after a flood is $43,000? The good news is that you can reduce your flood risk by participating in the following programs.
Home Flood Protection Program
This program helps you understand how you can take action to reduce your home’s flood risk and reduce damage in the event of a flood. The City of Burlington provides a 50 per cent subsidy on the cost of an in-person or remote assessment.
If you choose an in-person assessment:
A trained assessor will come to your house to complete a 50-point visual assessment of potential ways that water can enter your home. The visit will take 60 to 90 minutes. Within one week, you will receive an easy-to-read report with actions to:
- Reduce risk of damage to structure and contents,
- Manage infiltration, sewer back-up, and overland flood risk,
- Manage water onsite wisely,
- Manage indoor humidity to reduce mold and mildew risk, and
- Understand risks as they relate to insurance coverage.
You will also have access to:
- A live customer service helpline, and
- An optional 15-minute personal follow-up from the assessor.
If you choose a remote assessment:
Take and submit photos of required features in your basement and around your property. A 60-minute teleconference will be scheduled between you and the assessor to review the photos and complete the assessment. Within a week, you will receive the same report and have access to the same features listed for the on-site assessment above.
Who can register for this program?
Owners of single-detached, semi-detached and townhomes.
How much does the assessment cost?
- Subsidized in-person assessments cost $237.50 + HST (Regular price: $475 + HST).
- Subsidized online assessments cost $212.50 + HST (Regular price: $425 + HST).
Please note that there are only 20 subsidy spots available in 2023.
How do I register for the assessment?
Sign up online at homefloodprotect.info/register or call 1-877-876-9235 to schedule an appointment for an in-person or remote assessment. For more information, please visit the service provider’s webpage.
Plumbing Permit Fee Grant Program
Since the 2014 flood, the City of Burlington has offered a Plumbing Permit Fee Grant Program to provide residents with financial support for improvements taken in homes or businesses to reduce the risk of basement flooding. The program covers the cost of a building permit for:
- The installation of a backwater valve,
- The installation of a sump pump, and
- The repair/replacement of a sanitary line with the installation of a backwater valve.
Between 2014 and 2021, the City of Burlington refunded $393,612 in building permit fees with an additional $80,000 approved for 2022 and 2023.
Halton Region’s Enhanced Basement Flooding Prevention Subsidy Program
Halton Region’s program makes it easier and more affordable for residents to undertake home improvements to reduce the risk of flooding. The program offers subsidies for:
- Downspout disconnection
- Backwater valve installation
- Sewer lateral (pipe) lining and repair
- Weeping tile disconnection and sump pump installation (must use Halton Region’s authorized contractor list to qualify for this particular subsidy)
For more information
There are many online resources to help you reduce your basement flood risk including the following Be Flood Ready videos produced by the Government of Canada:
You can also visit the City of Burlington’s emergency plan and preparedness webpage which is packed with useful information including:
- How to register for Alert Burlington, a public notification system for community emergencies,
- How to create an emergency plan,
- What to include in an emergency kit, and
- What to do in potential emergencies including floods, power outages and severe winter storms.
Curious about how to manage rain where it falls? Check out the webinar recording about this topic at getinvolvedburlington.ca/crb.
Take Action Burlington! Collectively we can and have to adapt to our changing climate.