Most Canadians look forward to the spring thaw, but the arrival of warmer temperatures can often have a wet and damaging side effect: flooding. But it’s not always rainbows and butterflies, especially as warmer temps cause snow to melt in mass while also leading to rainier weather from up above. Before you know it, flooding is on the rise, and your home is at risk for water damage.


As you anticipate the blooming tulips and nesting robins, use the following tips to help strengthen your home’s fight against any spring moisture the season sends your way.

Here are 7 ways to prevent basement flooding or water damage to your home this spring:

  1. Relocate snow

The closer piles of snow are to your home, the easier it is for it to melt and make its way into your home. Clear snow away from around the foundation and move it to be at least two metres away from the exterior.


  1. Check gutters and downspouts

When debris, such as leaves, sticks, and dirt, gets trapped in gutters, it can block the passage of water from flowing freely off of roofs and away from the home. Clearing out debris from both gutters and downspouts can help to prevent water from seeping into attics, walls, and foundations. If necessary, also add downspout extensions to ensure water is draining at least two metres from the home’s foundation, down to the street or catch-basin.

  1. Inspect and mend foundation cracks

Water can get in more easily when there are cracks in the foundation. For minor repairs, fill cracks with a concrete patch. For bigger concerns, it’s best to bring in a professional to make sure your foundation is repaired in such a way that it acts as a waterproof barrier between the interior and exterior.  


  1. Make sure the ground slopes away from your foundation

If weather permits, regrade landscaping surrounding your home to make sure water drains away from the home instead of toward it. If necessary, pull plant material and add more soil where needed. Clearly, this is likely a task to be undertaken once the ground is thawed but definitely to be done prior to next winter.


  1. Install and maintain sump pumps (if applicable)

Sump pumps help to send water away from the home in areas such as basements and below-grade rooms that tend to flood more easily. If you don’t already have one, consider installing a sump pump or investing in a more portable version. If you already have a sump pump, inspect it to make sure it is in good working order and is clear of debris.


  1. Cover window wells

Installing window well covers not only allows for natural light in below-ground rooms but also prevents melting snow and rain from making its way into the home.


  1. Home inspection

Bring in a skilled professional to investigate your home in more depth than you might feel confident doing on your own. A professional will be able to specify vulnerabilities where water damage could occur as well as provide recommendations on how to mediate any concerns; particularly if your basement feels or smells damp or you find dampness creeping in around your foundation.


The unfortunate truth is that water damage can happen no matter what measures you take to reinforce your home. In the event of flooding, equip your home with tools to help you quickly respond to any potential damage, including: a generator, a wet/dry vac, fans, contact information for water damage restoration service professionals in your area. Mould is an issue that many overlook, and can be a health hazard; sometimes, it’s the minor repairs such as caulking around your windows or doors that could have prevented the damage!

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March 2022 ■ Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,421 residential properties in February through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,385 in February 2021, an increase of 3 per cent. February’s sales included 1,095 in the residential-property class, up 7 per cent from a year ago, and 326 in the condominium-property category, a decrease of 10 per cent from February 2021. The five-year average for total unit sales in February is 1,184.


“Although February’s resales were only 3% higher than last year at this time, we saw a 52% increase in the number of transactions compared to January’s figures (936). While a month-to-month increase is typical for this time of year, the gradation of this increase is higher than previous years, which could be an indication that our spring market may ramp up earlier this year,” states Ottawa Real Estate Board President Penny Torontow.


“Whether this has to do with the easing of government pandemic restrictions and the opening up of the economy or perhaps due to apprehension of the (then) upcoming interest rate increase, which is now in effect, we can’t entirely be sure,” she adds. “We are watching intently to see how the 2022 spring market will play out considering not only the higher interest rates and inflation but also other macro factors in our global environment that could affect our local economy.”


“Undoubtedly, the interest rate increase along with the higher rate of inflation will weaken potential Buyers’ purchasing power. And even though average price growths are not as acute as they were in the past two years, we are still seeing significant increases that are without question a result of the unrelenting high demand and current housing stock scarcity.”


The average sale price for a condominium-class property in February was $466,682, an increase of 15 per cent from 2021, while the average sale price for a residential-class property was $837,517, increasing 17 per cent from a year ago. With year-to-date average sale prices at $812,813 for residential and $458,107 for condominiums, these values represent a 16 per cent increase over February 2021 for both property classes. *


“The number of new listings in February (1,762) offers a slight glimmer of hope for prospective Buyers. At 4% higher than the five-year average and 12% higher than February 2021, it resulted in an almost 10% increase in residential-class property inventory compared to last year at this time. Condominium supply, however, is down 20%. Overall, we are now at a 0.7 month’s supply of inventory which means that most listings that enter the market are going to be snapped up very quickly, as evidenced by the continuous decline in Days on Market (DOM). We certainly hope this trend of increased new listings will continue to supplement the housing stock going forward,” Torontow acknowledges.


“Ottawa is a beautiful city with a healthy, stable economy and is a utopic place to work, live and play. It attracts Canadians from other cities and people from all over the world. But it is deeply entrenched in a Seller’s Market. This means homebuyers need to have all their ducks in a row and are prepared to move expeditiously. A REALTOR® will have the knowledge to ensure you are making your best offer at the optimal time. Sellers also need the experience and resources a REALTOR® brings to ensure they are strategically positioning their homes given the conditions of their neighbourhood and property type. Don’t gamble with what is likely your biggest asset – contact a professional REALTOR® today!”

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