The Big Spring Thaw – 5 Ways to Protect Your Home from Sewer Backup & Costly Water Damage
The Season of Spring – a time when old man winter slowly retreats back to the southern hemisphere. There is a sense of excitement for spring’s arrival but while spring brings the promise of warm weather, it may also bring a variety of conditions that can include heavy rains, severe weather, and rapid snowmelt that can increase Mississauga’s flood risk.
Water damage accounts for 50% of home insurance claims in Canada according to Broker Link. The average cost of a flooded basement is around $43,000 across Canada, and insurance payouts have doubled in the last 5 to 10 years. In fact, it even surpasses claims due to fire.
But as a homeowner, there are ways to minimize the risk of sewer backups in your Mississauga home. Prevention is key and will save you thousands of dollars in the long run while reducing the stress that comes with the clean up of a flooded basement.
While spring hasn’t sprung yet, it’s warm temperatures could increase flooding and sewer back-ups. Are you prepared? Mr. Rooter Plumbing has some useful tips to prevent you from getting all backed up.
According to the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation at the University of Waterloo, around 1.7 million Canadian households — or approximately 20 percent of the population — are exposed to some kind of flooding risk, whether it’s from backed-up sewers, overflowing rivers, or above-ground water accumulation caused by melting snow or rain. Spring flooding includes water generated from spring run-off, melting snow, lake or river overflow or pooling groundwater.
Sewer back-up occurs when a property's drainage system is overloaded by large amounts of water. When the water rises above the basement drains, the result is a backflow of wastewater into your Mississauga home. This backflow is not only difficult to clean up, but can also introduce sewage waste into your home, bringing with it black mould and harmful bacteria.
#1 Install a Backwater Valve
Back-flow occurs when your home’s plumbing flows in the wrong direction. A sewer backup in your home can be devastating and costly. Back-flows not only cause thousands of dollars in damage but also present health risks to the homeowner by exposing them to dangerous toxic agents. Not to mention the “YUCK” factor. Prevention is key – don’t wait for an emergency to strike.
A backwater valve installation on your sewer system is the best possible solution to protect your home from city sewer backups & floods caused by heavy rainfall. This amazing cost-effective technology can be an effective way to stop wastewater from backing up into you your home.
A backwater valve can be installed in the sewer lateral outside of the building, or in the basement at the exit point from the home or building. Under normal conditions, this clever device allows one-way flow from your home to the city sewer system. As soon as back-flow is detected, it closes up ensuring NO sewage waste can flow back into your home.
Once installed an annual maintenance program is recommended.
#2 Sump Pumps
If you have an existing sump pump in your home, it is necessary to do regular maintenance on it by cleaning out the sump pump pit. Furthermore, you will have to inspect your sump pump and make sure it is working properly. If your sump pump stops working, ensure you identify the cause and find a solution before the next rainstorm to help you avoid potential damage to your Mississauga home.
Sump pumps are used to re-route water away from the lowest point of your home's foundation and protect your basement from flooding. It prevents a build-up of water in your basement by pushing it away from your house. They are usually hooked up to either a sanitary combined drain or a storm drain away from the house where it will no longer be a problem. Sump pumps are extremely important during heavy rainstorms and work to reduce flooding from overflowing water from a plumbing issue.
Most of the time, sump pumps are installed in specially constructed sump pits in your basement. The sump pump's primary job is to pump the water out of the pit and away from the building so the basement or crawlspace stays dry.
Homeowners have two choices in how they install their sump pumps. You can either hardwire into your home’s electrical system or you can opt-in for a battery operated back up pump. Battery operated backup models are a good idea in the event a heavy storm causes your home to lose power.
#3 Camera Inspections
Don’t wait for plumbing problems to become plumbing and drain emergencies. Take initiative and schedule a plumbing video camera inspection for your home with any of our experienced Mississauga Plumbers. A healthy plumbing and drain system are the key to preventing basement backups and any serious drain problem can be quickly resolved.
If you own a home in an older area, particularly with large older trees, be proactive and get your main drain camera inspected by a professional plumber. The plumber will utilize this cutting-edge technology and be able to identify any plumbing problems before they can cause serious damage to your home, such as flooding your basement.
Camera inspections can tell homeowners a great deal about the health of their home’s plumbing and drain system. In fact, early identification is the key to resolving potential plumbing problems that in the long run could save you tens of thousands of dollars in repairs, not to mention the inconvenience and hassle of having to clean up a basement full of sewage.
Older Mississauga homes where the storm and sanitary are on a combined system would also require yearly camera and video inspections to identify any problems that could pave a way to basement flooding. Camera video inspections can tell you if you have tree roots that have penetrated your drain pipes, if the drain pipes have shifted or have a crack in them that could potentially cause them to collapse or if you have grease build-up. In any case, you would want to rectify these problems as soon as possible.
#4 Trough Drains & Catch Basins can Keep Homes from Flooding.
Some homeowners have Trough Drains or Catch Basins in front of their homes.
These drains need to be professionally cleaned out eliminating any debris buildup or blockage that could block the outlet pipe. If the outlet pipe is blocked, this could result in flooding the surrounding area which could include your garage or basement.
We recommend hiring a plumber because even though it seems simple enough to remove debris from a catch basin, there is more involved than you think. First of all, this job is unpleasant and not as easy as it seems. Professional plumbers all have the appropriate tools needed to get the job done right and properly so that you can be assured that it won’t back up and cause you unnecessary cleanup and expenses. Furthermore, while the plumber is cleaning up all the debris and whatever else made its way into the basin, he can inspect your drainpipes and see if there are any clogs that could potentially cause a backup.
#5 Inspect Your Home
Check for cracks in your foundation that could potentially allow water to creep into your home and cause water damage including mould and mildew. When in your basement, look for water damage along the baseboards and below your basement windows. By fixing potential problems and being proactive, you will avoid any possible water damage in your home that could be caused either by a spring flood or simply excess water pooling around your home due to heavy rains. If you do notice water damage in your basement, call a professional plumbing company such as Mr Rooter Plumbing of Mississauga ON. They will evaluate the extent of the damage and fix it by waterproofing your exterior walls, which will prevent any further water leakage into the home and prevent structural damage to your foundation.
Some homes owners have stairs on the outside of the home that lead into the basement. The landing at the bottom of these stairs has outside floor drains that need to be regularly cleaned. When cleaning them, make sure there is nothing blocking the floor drain such as debris or leaves.
A blocked stairwell floor drain can cause flooding and damage that will create havoc for your home. These drainpipes at the end of the run connect to the city sewer system and are meant to keep water away from your home. If your outside drains are blocked, it isn’t possible for them to do the job they were meant to do. After you’ve cleared the drain, if the water is stool pooling around the drain, chances are that there is a clog in the drain. You will need to call a professional. They will come out, access your outside drain and unclog this for you.
If your home features a basement with windows at, or below, ground level, chances are you also have window wells. Window wells have to be cleaned and maintained regularly. Window wells sit below grade and it’s important to maintain them in order to prevent water damage to your home. Proper maintenance of a window well ensures proper drainage thereby preventing water pooling and damaging your home. Keeping the gravel clean so water can penetrate and enter the weeping tile system will in turn, remove the water away from the house.
Snow, leaves and other debris needs to be cleaned out to ensure that the drainage is not clogged. Gravel can become hard over time. Dirt can clog up the gravel which will prevent the water from draining properly. You might consider shovelling out the old gravel and replacing it with new gravel. Check to make sure the window well is tightly secured against the basement wall to ensure that no debris can get in and clog it. You can quickly check to see if there is a problem with the drainage of your window well by simply running some water to see how quickly it drains away from the house.
If you do find yourself in a situation where your sewers are backing up or you are experiencing water damage in your home, call our Plumbing Specialists at Mr Rooter Plumbing of Mississauga ON.
Our plumbing specialists at Mr. Rooter Plumbing Mississauga can resolve the issue efficiently for your convenience. We’ll also give you an accurate quote on-site, and answer all of your questions prior to starting the work so that you understand what the entire project entails. Give us a call at (905) 817-0210 to book your appointment today.