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Heavy rainfall

Preparing for heavy rainfall. Desjardins Insurance has prepared some handy prevention tips to help you prepare for heavy rainfall and reduce the risk of water seepage in your home.



  • It may seem obvious, but always make sure your windows are securely shut before the rain starts (don't forget to check basement windows).
  • Make sure the seals around doors, windows and openings in your home's foundation (such as the space around electrical, telephone or cable wiring and boxes) are in good condition. If not, reseal them using caulk.

Tip from the pros

When you install screen windows in the spring and take them down in the fall, take advantage of the opportunity to inspect your windows. Check the windows, window components and seals to make sure they're in good condition and the windows open and close properly.  

  • A retention tank is a reservoir located in the basement that temporarily holds water coming from the subsoil drain before releasing it into the building's drainage system. If it's not working properly, it may overflow.
    • Maintain the tank itself (keep it free of debris and earth) to help with water drainage.
    • Test the pump. When you add water to the tank, the pump should start automatically.

Tip from the pros

We recommend adding an emergency battery so the pump can keep running even if the power goes out.

  • This component of your plumbing system prevents city sewers from backing up into your basement plumbing fixtures. Once you've found the valve in your basement, check its condition and clean it if necessary.

See our handy guide to find out how to clean a backwater valve:

Preventing water damage in the basement

Tip from the pros

  • To avoid overloading the city sewer system during heavy rainfall (and to reduce the risk of sewer back-up), we recommend reducing your water consumption as much as possible and waiting before using the shower, dishwasher or other appliances.
  • If you have valuables in the basement, you should lift them off the floor in case there is flooding.
  • The sump collects rainwater run-off. Always keep the cover clear of debris (leaves, ice, snow, etc.) to help with water drainage.

Tip from the pros

To avoid overloading the sump unnecessarily, make sure your eavestroughs don't empty into the garage entryway.

  • Keep window wells clean. Remove dead leaves and any other debris that prevents quick water drainage.
  •  Make sure there is at least 6 inches of clearance between the bottom of the window well and the window.

Tip from the pros

We recommend installing a clear plastic window well cover to prevent debris from building up in the window well and to help water drain away from the building faster.  

  • Make sure your eavestroughs and rainwater leaders aren't blocked or perforated.

Tip from the pros

A downspout extension is an effective, inexpensive way of keeping water away from the building. 

  • Check the seals around chimneys, vents and skylights, and reseal if necessary.
  • Have damaged or missing shingles replaced. Shingles close to valleys (the point where two roof surfaces meet) are usually the first to show damage.

Tip from the pros

Curled or buckled shingles are a sign that the roofing material has reached the end of its lifespan and should be replaced. 

Learn more

To identify other potential sources of leaks and water seepage, read our water damage prevention tips.


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These tips are provided for information purposes only. They are general in nature, and Desjardins Insurance cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.