Last week the floodgates opened wide in Southwestern Ontario. London experienced some of its worst flooding in almost 40 years. Nearby Brantford declared a state of emergency, and Chatham-Kent is still waiting to see if Disaster Recovery Assistance will be available to them. It all stemmed from heavy rainfall, and snow melt brought on by warm temperatures. And in London, initial estimates for recovery for parks and recreation areas alone is between $150,000 to $200,000.

Were you affected by local flooding? Hundreds of pictures flooded the internet, but for some unlucky folks, those images drifted too close to home. Basement flooding is a devastating event, made worse by the aftermath of the event—the recovery and cleanup. Anyone unlucky enough to be affected, can attest to the lengthy cleanup and recovery process, including extensive and expensive insurance claims.

Flood Destruction

Flood Destruction By Axel Kuhlmann [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

What to Do In Case of Flooding

Safety Precautions to Keep in Mind

  • gas and electricity may be affected — be aware of shock risks before entering a flooded area. Turn off utilities as necessary
  • be aware that standing water may contain contaminants from raw sewage or other pollutants
  • flood waters can lead to risk of mould and mildew growth; wear protective gloves, masks, boots, and eye wear during cleanup
  • keep children, the elderly, people with compromised immune systems, and those with respiratory issues away from the area

First Steps

  • report flooding to your city or municipality (in London call 519-661-4570 or 519-661-4965 after hours)
  • do not return home until authorities advise you it is safe to do so
  • make sure the building is structurally sound before re-entering
  • have electrical panels and furnaces inspected before turning them back on or using them
  • do not use any flooded appliances until inspected by a licensed inspector and cleaned as necessary
  • if you have a well, have it tested before using water


  • contact your insurance company, if you plan to make a claim
  • remove standing water
  • document flooding
    • take pictures and make lists of damaged items which cannot be salvaged
  • air out your home
    • open windows if possible, use dehumidifiers and industrial fans to help evaporate any remaining moisture
  • remove any saturated personal belongings to dry, clean and disinfect
  • dispose of irredeemably damaged items
  • discard any affected medicine, cans or food products to prevent illness
  • pull out wet carpets and remove any moist drywall
    • cut drywall at least 50 cm above water line to reduce the risk of mold growth
  • once area is stripped, disinfect floor and walls, and let dry before reusing
  • slowly dry wet wooden items to prevent warping and cracking

*For Future Reference – How to Prevent Basement Flooding*

  • ensure your sump pump is working properly (test throughout year)
  • make sure the ground slopes away from your home
  • point downspouts away from your house
  • repair any cracks in your foundation
  • consider landscaping that minimizes flood risks and helps water soak into ground

For those affected by local flooding, Load of Rubbish is available to assist with disposal services. We can safely remove any items damaged due to flooding, from personal items to affected carpets. Call us to schedule a pickup at 519-637-6928.