Water Infiltration & Lot Drainage

Water Infiltration - Does your Sump Pump Run Continuously?

If your sump pump is running continuously, check these FOUR KEY PROBLEM AREAS.

Eavestroughs & Downspouts
Eavestroughs that leak or haven’t been cleaned, as well as downspout outlets too close to the house will cause water to pool around the foundation. Check your eavestroughs and downspouts when it’s raining.

Lot Grading
The slope from the basement should be a 10% grade within 1.5 metres from the foundation and the remaining property should drain at a minimum 2% grade to the front or back of the lot.

Basement Walls and Floor
Cracks and repairs and openings in basement walls, floors or window wells may allow water to enter.

Flood-proofing Devices
A sump pump and sewer backwater valve should be installed to keep rainwater and sewage from backing up into basements.

Check the Foundation all around your home

Excess water pooling or ponding near the foundation of a house can result in water seeping down basement walls to the weeping tile below.
Over saturation of this area can cause water to enter into the basement, and the sump pump will run more often than necessary.
In extreme storms, infiltration into the sanitary system may cause sewage backup.
Ensure all water sources are diverted away from your home.
Use the following list to check for water infiltration:

  • Rain Barrels
  • Eavestroughs
  • Downspouts
  • Lot Grading
  • Weeping Tile

The Three Rs of Infiltration Mitigation


  • Reduce the amount of water used on a daily basis.
  • Shut off water while brushing teeth
  • Run washing machines and dishwashers with a full load
  • Take short showers
  • Keep a water bottle in the fridge rather than letting the tap run to cold
  • Limit lawn watering to early morning hours


  • Leaks can be costly. Only one drop per second wastes about 10,000 litres of water per year.
  • Leaking faucets can be caused by a worn out washer
  • If your toilet continues to run after flushing, it may be leaking
  • Fix or replace water hoses or taps that leak


  • Retrofit means adapting or replacing older fixtures and appliances with new water-efficient devices.
  • Install toilets that have an average flush of six litres or less
  • Add a tap aerator with a maximum flow rate of 5.7 litres per minute to all faucets
  • Replace older appliances with those that are Energy Star certified
  • Ensure underground irrigations systems are equipped with a high flow shut-off valve
  • Install rain barrels for landscape watering

Eavestrough, Downspout and Extension Maintenance

Often referred to as gutters, a properly installed and optimally-working eavestrough system carries run-off water from the roof via the gutters to the downspouts, which in turn direct that water away from the foundation of the home. The system is designed to protect your home from costly damage and water leakage and saturation around the house foundation or into your basement. If you have any concerns, it’s certainly best to address the situation sooner rather than later. A simple gutter cleaning or minor repair could make all the difference. Many homeowners are capable of maintaining their homes gutter system, but there are also companies offering this type of service for your convenience.

Cleaning out Debris

Many experts recommend gutter cleaning at least twice a year– once in the late spring and once in the late summer/early fall. But there are a few factors that might make you reconsider. If you have pine trees growing above your house, consider inspecting your gutters every 3 months. Without regular gutter cleaning, it will become full of debris making it hard for the rain to go down and that causes your gutters to back up and overflow, which can cause damage to your home.
Debris filled gutters also make nice homes for pests, rodents, mold and honeycombs from bee infestations. If you let gutter cleaning go by the wayside, it can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Extend the Flow

If your downspout doesn’t empty into an underground drain, attach a few feet of extra downspout to an elbow at the bottom of the downspout to carry the runoff away from the foundation.

Repair Small Patches

During your seasonal gutter cleaning, you should also be inspecting your gutters for damage. If a gutter section is rusty and leaky, replace it. But if there’s just one bad spot, the few minutes it takes to patch it is time well spent. Just clean and dry the area of the leak. Make sure to do this type of repair in dry weather for best results.

Most gutter leaks occur at the joints where two sections meet.

Use Splash Blocks

Use splash blocks to direct water flow away from your home and over a larger area. This will decrease the chance of soil erosion. Ensure that eavestroughs are flowing onto your property and not that of your neighbours!


Eavestroughs, Downspouts & Extensions Cleaning & Maintenance Brochure

Water Infiltration Checklist


Eavestroughs & Downspouts

  • Clean leaves and debris from the troughs and downspouts.
  • Tighten elbows and other connections.
  • Caulk and seal any leaks.
  • Repair or replace sagging, badly dented or cracked sections.

Extensions & Splash Pads

  • Ensure extensions and splash pad reach at least 1.2 m from the foundation.
  • Reconnect any loose pads or extensions.
  • Use concrete blocks for further extension reach.
  • Check soft plastic, roll out extensions for leaks and to determine if they work properly.

Lot Grading

  • Check the slope from the basement well, it should be a 10% grade within 1.2 m (5 ft.) from the foundations and the remaining property should drain at a minimum 2% grade to the front or back of the lot.
  • Check for settling, particularly under stairs and decks.
  • Raise any low spots by filling with clay, add a layer of topsoil, if planting will be done.
  • Look for cracks or spaces on driveways, sidewalks and patios that are next to the foundation wall. Caulk or waterproof where needed.

Rain Barrels

  • Install rain barrels at least 1.2 m (5 ft.) from the house foundation, OR
  • If installed by house foundation, install a downspout diverter to divert excess rain water.
  • Install an adequate overflow hose that drains at least 1.2 m (5 ft.) from the foundation


Foundation Walls

  • Check for moisture along the walls and the floor.
  • Fill and seal any visible cracks.

Sump Pumps

  • Check for power.
  • Test the pump by pouring water into the pump well.
  • Check the outside pump to confirm water flow is directed at least 1.2 (5 ft.) from the foundation. This may not apply as some sump pumps are connected to the sanitary sewer line.
  • Check and repair any leaks in the sump pump line.

Backwater Valve

  • Open the top and clean out any debris
  • Check the flapper. Make sure it is moving freely.

Water Infiltration Check List Brochure