As the weather warms up, homeowners may find themselves faced with a damp basement. Whether it’s caused by broken drain pipes or the city sewage system backing up into your home, flooding can be avoided. We spoke with Dwayne Robertson of Drain Rescue, a GTA residential and commercial plumbing company, about the precautions homeowners should take to avoid a wet basement come springtime.
Shovel snow away from your home
“A lot of people like to pile snow right up against their house and that’s not a very good idea,” says Robertson. When the snow starts to melt, it can find ways to get into the foundation and into the basement.
Examine the perimeter of your home
Ensure the grading of your yard is sloping away from the house and fix any cracks in the foundation, walls or windows. While it can be difficult to see whether you have any openings in a finished basement, if you have underground window wells, be sure to keep those clean so water doesn’t find its way into cracks.
Install a backwater valve
A backwater valve is a protection device that attaches to the sewer line. If the city sewer starts to back up, the valve will close and prevent your basement from backing up. “A lot of insurance companies will actually reduce your premiums if you have a backwater valve,” says Robertson.
Install a sump pump
A sump pump takes water away from the foundation drainage. Remember to add a battery backup to your sump pump. “A lot of times when we have those heavy rains, we lose power. You need to have some sort of backup system in place,” says Robertson. A battery will typically last eight to 12 hours. If you want something more secure, a backup generator can last for several days.
Examine drain systems
Robertson says 60 percent of the basement floods are a result of aging sewer systems on the homeowner’s own property. “If the house is older than 35 years old, you more than likely have a clay drain underneath the floor,” says Robertson. Clay drains can become cracked by tree roots. “Roots are unpredictable. When spring hits, they really start to grow,” he adds. If you have large trees on your property, it’s a good idea to get your drains inspected.
Need an emergency plumber? Check out Drain Rescue for company information and customer reviews.