What To Do If Your Basement Floods

By Mike Holmes

Mike’s Advice / Home Safety & Maintenance

Monday, October 3rd, 2022 @ 8:41am

Dealing with Basement Flooding

Water and electricity don’t mix. We all know that, right? So if you experience a flood in your home, there is a risk of electric shock that can injure or even kill you. I’m going to explain what to do if your basement floods.


Basement Already Flooded?


Here are some things you need to know if you have a flooded basement:

basement flooding

Do NOT enter your basement


If the water in your flooded basement is above the level of electrical outlets, baseboard heaters, or furnaces, or is near your electrical panel-DO NOT enter your basement.


Call Your Utility Company


Call your local electric utility right away and arrange for them to disconnect power to your 

home. Don’t try to fix this yourself.


Watch Out For Power Lines

There could be downed power lines in your area. If you see one, stay back 10 meters. Call 9-1-1 and your local electric utility to report it.



12 Steps to Take AFTER a Flood


If the water in your flooded basement is above the level of electrical outlets, baseboard heaters, or furnaces, or is near your electrical panel-DO NOT enter your basement.





You may need to leave your home because of expected flooding but there is no flood water in your basement currently. Here is what you should do. 

Move your electrical appliances and devices out of your home or to an area in the house where flood water can’t reach.


Get a Sump Pump For Your Basement

A sump pump is a small device with a pretty big job. It pumps water away from your home. It will take any excessive below-grade water and help pump it away from your foundation. Water entering your home will lead to water damage.



Should Your Basement Have A Sump Pump?




What To Do If Your Basement Floods?

If you have experienced flooding and are returning home, there could be water contact or damage to your electrical system. In this case, do not enter your basement. Wait until the local electric utility disconnects the power.

If your electrical system has been affected, you may have to wait for your utility to restore power to your property.  In the province of Ontario, the utility cannot do so until receiving authorization from ESA (electrical safety authority) through a notification of work.

Call your insurance company right away. In some cases, if the flood damage isn’t reported within the first 24 hours it won’t be covered. 


Flooded Basement Cleanup: Who to Hire?

When your basement floods, it’s natural to want to do things quickly, but recovering from a flood is a slow process that needs to be planned out right. Your wall cavity needs to dry out properly so that there’s no mold or mildew growth. 

Hiring A Contractor After A Flood

I recommend going with an experienced flood clean-up company. They will be able to assess the scope of damage and provide you with a quote. Too many people rush into rebuilding after damage from Mother Nature. Slow down and do your research. You don’t want to have ANOTHER issue after already dealing with a flood.Canada restoration services for flood damage


We personally have had great experience with Canada Restoration Services. We have used this company for asbestos removal, mold remediation and water damage. They service Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.



Tips for Hiring A Contractor. Here is What You Need To Know.


Test Your Indoor Air Quality

Don’t start putting drywall back up until you’ve had an air quality test performed. You may be dealing with indoor air quality issues, mold, and degrading building materials if you don’t slow down and take it to step by step. Hire a professional home inspection company to do an indoor air quality test.


My team at Mike Holmes InspectionsMike Holmes Inspections can do a full indoor air quality test for you. You can check out the website to find the service area.



And working with a Licensed Electrical Contracting business is key after a flood to ensure peace of mind and electrical safety for you and your family.



Hiring a Licensed Electrical Contractor In Ontario

Now, this is very important. Hire a Licensed Electrical Contracting business to check your home’s electrical system. They will evaluate the electrical wiring and equipment. When it’s safe to have the power restored, they will request a reconnection of the service.

Before any work begins, make sure the electrical contractor is licensed. I have heard a lot of horror stories of people hiring the first person who comes along.

You can ask for their 7-digit ECRA/ESA [HS2] number and verify the number online at The contractor will file a notification with ESA so there is a record of the work;

electrical safety authority logoWhen the contractor completes the work, the contractor will notify ESA. Ask for a copy of the ESA Certificate of Acceptance for your records and insurance.

ESA will inform the utility that it is safe to reconnect, and the utility will reconnect when it is able to do so.





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