Winter Drain Repair & Inspection Keeps Your Home Happy
What does it take to keep your home running smoothly in the winter? Good heating, good insulation, and problem-free plumbing. The cold weather puts a lot of stress on your home and it’s one of the most uncomfortable times of the year for things to go haywire in your home.
It’s not just the weather that can have an adverse affect, either. With all the cooking you’re doing and having guests over, your plumbing system is under extra stress. What can you do to keep your plumbing system working effectively?
Drain Repair in Toronto & the GTA
With the cold weather arriving, every homeowner should be concerned about frozen pipes. Last winter, a record-breaking December deep freeze left plenty of homeowners scrambling to fix frozen and burst pipes just before the holidays.
The bad news for homeowners is that winter 2019 looks like it’s going to be a wet and chilly one for the Greater Toronto Area. That could mean a repeat of last year’s weather and with it comes more plumbing problems. The biggest plumbing problems a home can face during the cold season tend to be frozen pipes, clogged drains, water main breaks, and flooding during a thaw.
Pipes burst because of the way water expands when it gets cold. The pressure as the water turns into ice can rupture the pipe, causing leaks and interrupting the flow of water into your home.
Signs You Need Drain Repair
It may not be immediately obvious that you have a burst pipe somewhere in your plumbing system. These are the top three warning signs that it’s time to call a drain expert:
• One or more faucets in your home have stopped running.
• Your toilet doesn’t refill after flushing.
• Reduced water pressure in your home can also be a sign that water in a pipe has frozen and blocked the flow.
These are all signs that something is wrong. Even if you haven’t been able to identify the problem yourself, our team can diagnose plumbing issues before we fix them.
Avoid Drain Repair from Frozen Pipes
Emergency drain repair is our expertise at Sewer Squad, but if you can avoid frozen pipes, you can save yourself the money and the hassle of having to call in drain experts. How do you keep your pipes from freezing when the mercury takes a dive? It can be difficult, especially in older homes where parts may be poorly insulated, or if you have exposed pipes, but there are some tricks you can use to prevent frozen pipes.
1) Clean Up Outside – A forgotten garden house can have major consequences to the rest of your plumbing system. If the water inside freezes, it can increase pressure on your interior plumbing system. Before the weather gets cold, don’t forget to drain and disconnect your garden hose and put it in the garage. Next, close your interior valve leading to the outdoor spigot, drain the faucet, and insulate it.
2) Exposed Pipes – Pipes in unheated or poorly insulated parts of your home like crawl spaces, the garage, or the attic are vulnerable to freezing as well. Foam pipe insulation is an affordable way to insulate them, while you can also use heat tape if you live in an extreme climate. Thermostatically controlled heat tape turns out after a certain minimum temperature threshold is passed.
3) Pipes in Poorly Insulated Walls – Inadequate installation can also cause pipes to freeze within exterior walls. If a pipe has frozen and burst inside the walls in the past, it’s also likely that there’s mold or water damage. If your home suffers from a frozen pipe in one of these exterior walls, it can be worth the renovation costs to open the wall and improve insulation. Not only will it help keep your pipes from freezing, better insulation can also reduce the overall costs of heating your home.
As a last resort, you can also reroute the pipe, especially if it’s in a northern wall (which gets less sun and tends to be colder). It can be worth rerouting if the pipe continues to freeze even after improving the insulation.
4) Keep the Thermostat Up when you Travel – A lot of calls about frozen pipes come after a winter vacation. While you’re soaking up the sun, your home could be undergoing some serious damage. People often turn the thermostat down when they leave home to save on energy. Combine reduced heat with stagnant water in the pipes (since no one’s home to run the water) and you’re likely to come home to burst pipes. Keep the thermostat at a regular temperature and consider draining your system and shutting off the water. Just turn on the taps and flush the toilets after shutting off the main valve.
If the power goes out, there’s not much you can do to keep those pipes warm. If you’re home when the lights go off, turn on the faucets slightly so that water trickles out of them and doesn’t freeze.
If you notice a pipe has burst in your home, call the team at Sewer Squad and immediately shut off the water in your home. You may even want to turn off the electricity, which make a burst pipe an urgent crisis in the winter. If the leak is somewhere you can access, remove the water as quickly as possible to avoid the growth of mold and mildew. Mop it up and use old towels or rags to make sure you get the area dry again.
Call Emergency Plumbing in Toronto when Your Basement Floods
A wet winter means a lot of snow and higher chances that your basement could flood during a thaw. A quick thaw can quickly turn the streets into slush and it can overwhelm municipal storm drainage. Add rainfall to melting snow and the results can be disastrous.
In many parts of Toronto and the GTA, especially those that are older, the storm drainage system is combined with the sewage system. That means that when there’s an influx of water, the sewage system can get backed up and send sewage back through the pipes it came from. That means your plumbing.
The most effective way to prevent basement flooding due to a sewage back up is installing backwater valves or sump pumps. As residential drain experts, Sewer Squad regularly installs flood protection like backwater valves across the GTA. A backwater valve closes off your plumbing when sewage water starts to move backward through the system, protecting your basement. A sewage flood can ruin your basement and everything in it. Call us about plumbing services across Toronto including backwater valves and sump pumps.
Sewage isn’t the only flood risk posed by a winter thaw. The excess water can seep into your home from the ground when it can no longer absorb water. A sump pump diverts water away from your house to protect it from flooding. Sump pumps are located at the lowest part of your basement. Here’s how a sump pump works:
- The system collects excess groundwater that would otherwise enter your basement.
- When groundwater fills your sump tank, a float activates the pump.
- The pump pushes water out through a discharge away from your home, potentially into the sewage system.
Be prepared for this spring thaw and get backwater valves and sump pumps installed today.
Have Clogged Drains in Toronto?
The holidays are hard on your drains. All that turkey grease, gravy, and stray food particles going down your drain can clog things up quickly, especially if one has been building down there for a long time. If you’re facing a clogged drain, you need drain cleaning services fast, especially when you’re expecting people for dinner.
You can call Sewer Squad for emergency plumbing any time. Wondering where your plumber is? We’ve taken advantage of new technology to keep you informed. With GPS tracking, you can check where your plumber as they’re on their way, plus we’ll send you a text and email to let you know who is coming and when they’ll arrive. That way, you won’t be interrupted at a bad time.
When it comes to drain clogs, we also use camera inspection to help find the problem down there. We can see into your drains and look at the results on an iPad.
If you’ve had other plumbers check out clogged drains but the problem persists, our advanced plumbing diagnostic services can get to the heart of the issue.
Drain Experts Fix Water Main Breaks
Water mains can also break due to the cold weather and that will interrupt water service to your home. Call Sewer Squad and we can set up temporary water service to your home while we repair or replace your water main. When you’re busy for the holidays, you need uninterrupted water service.
Winter is tough on your home, but we’re here to help. Whatever the problem with your drains or plumbing, give us a call and we’ll make sure things get back to normal without interrupting your life.
Available at your inconvenience. At no extra cost.
Because drain issues never seem to arise during business hours, Sewer Squad offers 24/7 emergency service with no overtime charge. Flooded basement on New Year's Day? We’re there. Just call our emergency number and we’ll be at your door, fast.