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How to Mitigate Flood Risk in Your Home

How to Mitigate Flood Risk in Your Home


Overland water, or flood risk, is greater than ever in our region due to two main factors. Climate change has induced more water coming down into the Great Lakes catchment basin over shorter periods of time, and more frequently. Additionally, over the last 100 years, over 70% of the natural infrastructure, (forests, fields, and wetlands), have been removed.

Communities at greatest risk should take measures to retain as much of the remaining natural infrastructure as possible; further safeguards include building berms, digging diversion channels, and creating holding ponds to collect runoff.

At your own residence:

  • Work with a contractor or foundation specialist to ensure you have the recommended 5% downward slope in the immediate area around your foundation which would angle excess water down and away from your home. Any foundation cracks wider than a dime or “step cracks”, (both horizontal and vertical), will need to be repaired as well.
  • If you have a basement, install watertight windows and elevate window wells at that level.
  • If you require a sump pump, install dual sump pumps with battery backup.
  • Make sure your gutters and downspouts are clear, let water flow, and deposit it a safe distance from your foundation.