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How Mainline Backwater Valves Work

Marcin from ExpressRooter, the official contractor for Mike Holmes, is here to address some of the common questions that many homeowners ask. How Mainline Backwater Valves Work A question that home owners often ask is, how does the mainline backwater valve work…

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Will Your Foundation Cracks Result in a Wet Basement?

Foundation Cracks Wet BasementYour house is much more than just a building. It is your home, the place where you and your family feel safe and secure. Anything that puts your home at risk can have a major impact on your life.

That’s one of the reasons why homeowners tend to worry at the first sign of any cracks, especially when they appear in, or are related to, foundations. The main concern is whether the structure is safe. It is extremely rare that foundation cracks will result in an unsafe building. But, can the same be said about the potential for a wet basement?

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What is Causing Your Damp Basement?

damp basementYou had great plans to have a downstairs bedroom or family and entertainment room, but you’ve realised that none of them will come to fruition because you have a damp basement. There are a number reasons why moisture might collect in basement spaces, and many of them are fairly easy to remedy.

Causes and Solutions

Basements may become damp or flooded during and after heavy rain like that experienced in the Toronto storms of July 2013 or when snow melts rapidly. In addition, factors inside your home may be triggering the increase of moisture. Causes of a damp basement include:

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What to Do When Your Water Heater is Leaking

Water Heater is LeakingThere is usually no reason to panic when your water heater starts leaking. It is a common problem faced by households and can be fixed without the help of a licensed plumber most of the time. When you find that your water heater is leaking, the first thing you should do is identify the source and cause of the leakage. It may be a worn out valve, faulty connection or corroded tank. Once you have determined what is causing the problem, fixing the water heater is a matter of changing the setting or repairing or replacing the faulty components. You may need a screw driver and an adjustable wrench for this job.

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Exterior Foundation Waterproofing Techniques

Foundation WaterproofingBasement waterproofing is the only solution to keep water from getting into your basement and causing major structural damage, as well as mold, decay, and other moisture-related issues. Interior and/or exterior foundation waterproofing is required when ground water builds up in the soil raising the water table. This process causes hydrostatic pressure to occur and push against the walls and floors of your basement. Unless your basement is properly waterproofed, the water will force its way in through cracks in the foundation walls, openings caused by expansion and contraction of the footing-foundation wall joint and up through the floor cracks.

As foundation waterproofing is necessary anytime a structure is built below or at ground level, which is the vast majority of cases, the industry has developed various foundation waterproofing techniques. Although interior waterproofing can also help solve part of the problems, it cannot prevent by itself severe damage. Exterior foundation waterproofing remains the only method recognized by the International Building Code as adequate for the prevention of wicking and molding of building materials.

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Why You Should Install Flood Protection Devices in Your Basement

backflow-valveBeing the lowest part of your house, your basement bears the brunt damage when a flood or sewer backup occurs. A flooded basement does not only damage your home’s structure and your possessions, it also has the potential to encourage mold growth. After the recent flooding, the City of Toronto has taken several initiatives to encourage property owners to take the appropriate measures to minimize basement flooding. One of these measures is a financial subsidy of up to $3,200 per property to install flood protection devices, such as a backflow valves, sump pumps and pipe severance and capping.

What is a Sewer Backflow Valve?

A sewer backflow valve is a simple and effective flood protection mechanism for the basement. Placed at the point where the sewer exits the building, the valve allows sewage to flow smoothly out of the building but prevents it from flowing backward in case of an overflow. It is a one-way gate that opens only outwards and closes tightly as soon as there is a reverse flow. Since a single back valve is adequate for the entire building, installation, repair and maintenance is easier and a lot less costly.

The available subsidy to install a backwater valve is 80% of the total invoiced amount of up to $1,250. This includes the cost of the labour, materials, permit and taxes.

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How to Prevent a Nasty Basement Flood

As many people have found out from the recent superstorm Sandy, serious basement flooding is no laughing matter.  When water gets into your basement, it causes a lot of financial and emotional stress, and in extreme cases can alter your life.  And while there isn’t a lot you can do if a megastorm comes calling, you can prevent basement flooding from regular heavy rain or melting snow if you follow some basic guidelines.

Seal Up Holes

Holes and cracks in the foundation of a home are some of the primary culprits when it comes to basement leaks and flooding during storms.  It’s important to have a proper home inspection when you first purchase a home, and also have the foundation checked for problems if you’ve been living in your house for a while.

Basement windows are another area where water may get in, especially if they have older wooden frames that have rotted.  If you have older basement windows, consider an upgrade to vinyl or aluminum to keep water out.

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