Thursday, June 12, 2014

Protect Your Basement Against Flooding

Toronto-Backwater valve InstallationBasement flooding can be a serious problem. In addition to the obvious mess, inconvenience, and general chaos it can add to the household, there are other negative effects as well:
  • Chronically wet houses are linked to an increase in respiratory problems.
  • Restoration of a finished basement may cost thousands of dollars.
  • Insurance rates or deductibles may rise to compensate for repeated basement flooding claims.
  • Property value may depreciate because the basement is prone to frequent flooding.

Why Do Basements Flood?

Aside from a natural disaster, flooding is most likely to occur during periods of heavy rainfall, or when snow is melting rapidly during a spring thaw. In these cases, your basement can be wet because of:
  • Leaks in your home's basement walls
  • Poor lot drainage
  • Failure of the weeping tiles (foundation drains)
  • Over-saturation of the soil, which causes rising ground water
  • Overflowing gutters, leaking or plugged downspouts
  • Basement flooding may also occur because of:
  • A blocked connection between your home and the main sewer in the street
  • Back-ups of wastewater in the sewer system or a combination of wastewater and rainwater from the sanitary or combined sewer system
  • Failure of a sump pump used to pump weeping tile water

How to Avoid Basement Flooding

Your property drains through an interconnected system that must function properly from beginning to end to prevent flooding. You usually can best diagnose a flood problem by working your way down from the gutters and downspouts to the lot and foundation drainage, and then to the plumbing system√Ę€"both inside your home and beyond its connection to the municipal sewer system.

Gutters and Downspouts

Water pours off the gutters and into downspouts. Your home's downspouts must be disconnected from drain tiles and directed over land away from your home so that water doesn't pool next to the basement walls or basement windows. Make sure downspouts extend at least 6 ft. from your basement wall, so that the water does not drain back toward the house, and are not directed toward your neighbor's property.
If your downspouts are connected to your home's sewer system or weeping tile, disconnect them.
Clean debris from gutters regularly. If they overflow even when clean, replace them with larger size gutters and downspouts.

Lot Grading

If the land around your home slopes toward the foundation, rainwater heads right for the weeping tile around the basement and can overload your foundation drainage system. Land tends to settle over time, causing the earth to slope inward toward the foundation. If your lot slopes inward, you'll want to fill in and grade the lot so that, for at least 6 ft. out from around the foundation, the land slopes away from your house and water drains away from the basement walls. Also, examine sidewalks, patios, decks, and driveways. These can settle over time and cause water to drain back towards your basement walls.
Be sure that any drainage improvements you make do not cause water to flow onto your neighbor's property.

Use Flood-Proofing Devices

If your Toronto home or neighborhood drainage system is prone to flooding, you should have flood-proofing devices, such as a sump pump or back flow valve, to keep rainwater and sewage from backing up. Each installation is unique, and some devices might require a plumbing permit. Check with your local government or talk to a qualified plumber before you proceed with any installation.

Sump Pit Drainage System

  • A sump pit drainage system includes a sump pit, a sump pump, and a discharge pipe. The sump pit, set into the basement floor, collects water from the weeping tiles around your basement. The pump pushes the water outside your house through the discharge pipe.
  • Place your sump pump discharge pipe far enough away from the house so that it drains somewhere onto your property where water can be absorbed and not drain back into the housesuch as the lawn or flowerbed. Do not allow water from your sump pump to drain directly onto neighboring properties, sidewalks, or streets. Installation of systems like this can be labor-intensive. You might want to consult a basement waterproofing professional on how to properly install the system based on local ground conditions.
  • Here are some helpful sump pit maintenance tips:
  • Clean the sump pit each year after freeze-up.
  • Check and test the pump each spring before the rainy season begins, and also before leaving your house for a long time. Pour water into the pit to trigger the pump's operation.
  • Remove and thoroughly clean the pump at least once a year.
  • Check the discharge point regularly to make sure that nothing blocks the flow.
WARNING: Disconnect the pump from the power source before you handle or clean it.

Backwater Valve

A backwater valve prevents sewage in an overloaded main sewer line from backing up into your basement. The valve automatically closes if sewage backs up from the main sewer. A properly installed backwater valve must be placed so that sewage backup is stopped and does not come out through other outlets in your basement, such as sinks, toilets, and showers.
Make sure that you can get at the valve at all times. Check the valve regularly and remove material that might prevent it from operating properly.

Plumbing Fixture Maintenance

Have a qualified plumber inspect the flood-proofing devices and plumbing fixtures regularly to ensure proper operation. Check the operating instructions for more detailed information and safety guidelines, or ask your local Toronto Mister Plumber to explain the details of your system to you. A Mister Plumber give you free estimates so you can consider the flood protection options.
If you are still looking for trusted plumber, Mister Plumber in Toronto, Etobicoke, Scarborough, North York specializing sewer repair, upgrade waterline, water service upgrade, drain cleaning, backwater valve installation, lead pipe replacement, re-piping and emergency plumbing, Mister Plumber uses the latest technology to effectively troubleshoot and quickly repair any plumbing problem and offers a fast response and free estimates.
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Call a fully-licensed, bonded and insured Toronto plumber at 416 939 1530

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