You Need to Protect Your Home from Leaking and Flooding this Winter
Winter can do a real number on your home. Everything from leaks to frozen pipes to flooded basement are common across Toronto and the GTA. With the cold temperatures and a lot of precipitation, it’s important that you keep your home plumbing and draining in tip-top shape to avoid costly water damage.
Good maintenance and prevention will keep your plumbing in a state of good repair. If you dread the idea of calling an emergency plumber to fix a crisis, don’t wait around. Get your drains cleaned and fixed before they become a problem. You can start by taking care of some of these essential drain maintenance tasks.
#1 Drain Cleaning
Clean drains are the cornerstone of an effective, healthy plumbing system. Clogged drains come in all sizes, from the bathroom sink to major blockages that can affect your entire home’s plumbing system. Preventative drain cleaning will help you avoid plumbing emergencies. When you notice minor problems starting to emerge, it can pay to call drain cleaning experts to clean things out before you wind up with bad smells, leaks, or total blockages.
Drain cleaning can get rid of sewer smells, remove clogs, put a stop to minor recurring clogs, avoid long-term pipe problems, and prevent total shut downs. Regular drain cleaning is a great way to look after your home and keep your plumbing system efficient, but the Sewer Squad is also available when you need emergency plumbing services in Toronto to fix a major problem. When you can’t unclog drains yourself, a plumber can make sure it’s done right.
When we clean your drains, we apply drop sheets and clean up after the job is done. You can also sign up for our drain maintenance plan, where we use environmentally-friendly products to fix slow draining and smelly drains on a monthly basis.
#2 Water Mains
Winter can be a tough season on water mains, and if you get a notice from the city that there’s a problem with the water main on your property, it’s up to you to get it fixed. While the average age of water mains in Toronto is only 59 years, 11 percent are over a century old. Older water mains are more likely to break.
November to March is the busiest time of year for water main breaks in Toronto. The freezing weather causes soil to expand. Frost loading applies force to water mains and they wind up breaking. Another common cause is external corrosion. Cast or ductile iron pipes weaken with time due to pits. Lastly, leaks into the surrounding ground can erode the bedding around a water main and lead to a collapse.
Here are some important things to know about water mains if you live in Toronto:
• Cast iron water mains common in the 1950s and 1960s are more prone to breakage due to their thinner walls.
• Residents in North York, Etobicoke, and Scarborough have higher rates of main breakages due to acidic clay soil. This also applies to residents in the rest of the GTA that are built on clay rather than sandy soil.
If you’re experiencing water main problems, give us a call and we can fix the problem in no time. We do everything we can to ensure that your family isn’t inconvenienced. We even install temporary water service so your family experiences no interruption while we fix your water main. Since your water main is your source of fresh drinking water, you want one that’s reliable.
#3 Drain Repair
Pipes regularly break in the winter due to the cold weather. Frozen pipes often lead to bursts that cause leaks and reduced water pressure in your home. The leaks can cause extensive damage to your home. One way you can prevent frozen pipes is by keeping your thermostat set at the same temperature day and night (and while you’re away), and by insulating any exposed outdoor pipes. But burst pipes happen and that’s when you need to call the Sewer Squad.
If you have a problem, we can fix and repair your drains quickly and with minimal inconvenience. Frozen pipes aren’t the only reason you might need drain repair. Clay pipes get old and throughout the GTA, many are considerably aged. Clay pipes can crack, leak, and even fill with roots and collapse. When we replace your pipes, the new ones are guaranteed with our 25-year warranty.
Sometimes excavation is required for drain repair. If we need to excavate, we make sure the process is as painless and tidy as possible for your family. Don’t let drain and pipe problems inconvenience your family.
#4 Drain Repiping
Repiping your drains can seem like a huge task, but we make it painless for you and your family. Your pipes are at risk not just from outside forces, but inside as well. Cast-iron and steel pipes can corrode from the inside, leaving rust that will slow down drainage and join with clogs. Rusted pipes can also start leaking, damaging your home and leaving a terrible smell. Leaking pipes are also a health hazard; they leak harmful bacteria into your home and cause mold. Leaks can quickly soften wood, making it an ideal habitat for bugs. You need to get your drainage system repiped before the problem grows.
Many of the problems we see on a day-to-day basis are caused by old pipes. It’s simply what was used when many homes in the GTA were originally built. When we repipe your drainage system, we use durable, corrosion-proof pipes that will last longer and stand up to wear and tear. Our pipes are backed by a 25-year warranty.
Save yourself the headaches that come with leaks and water damage. If you know your home has old, leak-prone pipes, upgrade to a corrosion-proof system that will protect your home and spare you from dealing with leaks.
#5 Backwater Valves & Sump Pumps
Backwater valves are an essential tool in flood protection, and if you’re a GTA homeowner, you know that flooding can be a major problem in the area. Backwater valves prevent sewage backups from flowing into your basement and creating an expensive health hazard.
Sewage backups are common in the GTA during heavy rainstorms. Sometimes a blockage can cause isolated sewage backups, other times, major rain events that have become increasingly common in the GTA overwhelm the sewage system. When the sewer line is blocked by debris or overwhelmed by the sheer volume of rain water, it can back up and try to get out the opposite end – that is, the drains in your home. When sewage flows backwards, you have a messy problem on your hand.
Sewage water is full of deadly bacteria including E. coli, not to mention an awful smell. If raw sewage gets into your basement, you’ll be replacing your furniture and even tearing out your floor and walls.
You’re much better off getting prepared before the next big rainfall and investing in backwater valves or sump pumps to protect your home from a sewage backup. Backwater valves are placed in the sewer lateral that connects your home to the municipal sewage system. When the main sewer line backs up, your backwater valve automatically closes and prevents sewage from running backwards into your home. Installing backwater valves will protect your basement from being destroyed by sewage – something that can happen in mere minutes. Increasingly, home insurance companies expect backwater valves to be installed.
Sewage backups have become such an extensive problem in Toronto that the city offers substantial subsidies for installing them in your home. Owners of single-family homes, duplexes, and triplexes can get as much as $3,600 in support per property for installing backwater valves and sump pumps or work such as severance and capping of your home’s storm sewer. For backwater valves alone, you can get up to $1,250 for purchase and installation.
Besides backwater valves, you should also learn about the importance of sump pumps as they can save your home from flooding during heavy rain fall. Sump pumps collect excess groundwater that threatens to seep into your basement and discharge it safely away from your home or into the sewer system.
As your drain experts, Sewer Squad takes care of everything from installation to permits to rebate paperwork. You don’t have to worry about a thing when you hire us to install sewer protection in your home.
Toronto and the GTA have been struggling to keep up with the changing weather. The sewer system is quickly overwhelmed while individual homes have aging pipes and drainage infrastructure. Don’t let winter or extreme weather damage your home because you weren’t prepared. Give us a call and we can help you repair or replace pipes and drains, clean drains that have become clogged, replace water mains that provide your home with clean drinking water, and install backwater valves that will protect your home from sewage backups.
Take advantage of municipal rebates and subsidies for any plumbing work you do on your home. We can help you with the paperwork and make sure you know how much money you’re eligible to receive depending on where in the GTA you live. We work across the Greater Toronto Area, including downtown Toronto. Keep your home safe from water damage, leaking, and flooding this winter.
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.