March 9, 2015
Homeowners might have several concerns and questions about sump pumps and their operation. Some wonder whether they should install them at all and some of them encounter problems that they have no idea how to handle. Below are some of the most common questions and concerns homeowners have about sump pumps:
1. Is it necessary to install sump pumps if I rarely experience floods?
Some people will argue that their basements rarely flood and therefore they should not install sump pumps. This is a personal decision that everyone has to make. You have to weigh the costs of installing the sump pump against the costs of dealing with flood damage and see which risk you are willing to take. However, it is wise to be safe than sorry. Whether the basement is being used as a living area or just storage, it should be kept dry at all times and installing a sump pump helps with this.
2. How do I prevent the sump pump drainage pipe from freezing?
The pump uses the pipe connected to the outside of the house to get rid of the water in the basement. If the end of this pipe that is exposed to the outside weather freezes, the pump is rendered useless and is bound to malfunction and bring you problems, flooding among them. You can use a device called a Freeze Stop to keep the water flowing even when the pipe is frozen.
3. What is the most common reason for a sump pump failure?
The most common cause of sump pump failures is switching problems. At times, the pump switches inside the basin resulting in the float operating the switch to dislodge against itself. Another common factor is collection of debris and dirt interfering with the proper workings of the pump. You have to ensure that the sump pump switch is working without any hitches and there are no debris stuck in it. Also, make sure that the float-arm system does not have anything hindering its free movement.
4. What is the difference between a standard sump pump and a grinder sump pump?
Sometimes, users get confused between a standard sump pump and grinder sump pump. They also often do not know which one to install. A standard sump pump is designed to get rid of the water that percolates in the pit inside the basement to a location far from the base of the house. On the other hand, a grinder sump pump, just like its name suggests, is designed to macerate the sewage and then pump it out into the main sewer line. Since the pumps both have totally different functions in the house. Whichever choice you make between the two highly depends on the function it is intended for.
5. How do I know my pump will still work after a long period of disuse?
Some people rarely need to use their pumps until the rains set in. After a long period of disuse, the fear of the pump failing to kick in when the water starts filling the basement is well founded. To ensure the pump is operating right, check it often to ensure no debris are clogging it.
March 7, 2015
If you are planning to renovate your basement, you need to think about the overall cost of the project. You have to think about the cost of materials, labor and other costs. One of the most important steps when renovating this space is basement waterproofing. Investing in waterproofing will cost you upfront, but the good news is that you can actually end up saving money in the long run. You can think about basement waterproofing in Toronto as a long-term investment. Following are some ways basement waterproofing can help you to save money.
Save on your energy costs
Waterproofing your basement will help to reduce your energy costs. The process involves sealing the foundation, which effectively shuts off the outside environment. The result of this is that there is less heat escaping during the cold winter months, which means you do not have to keep your heat on all the time and when it is on, it does not have to be all the way up. During hot summer months, there is less cold air escaping from the home and this means that you do not have to crank up the air conditioner all day. Improved indoor environment will mean that your energy bill can remain low.
Save on health expenses
Mold and mildew that thrives in dark and humid environments can be very harmful to the health. A wet basement can be responsible for a host of health complications. Basement waterproofing will help to prevent the growth of toxic mold and mildew by keeping away extreme moisture. The waterproofing will help to prevent air pollution that can endanger the health of your family. This means that your home will be safe and you do not have to worry about health complications. By keeping yourself and your family healthy, you can save on medical bills or trips to the doctor.
Protect your possessions
Replacing your furniture can be very costly and it is a huge inconvenience especially when you have to do so without much notice. Any homeowner knows that a flooded basement can have far-reaching negative consequences. The emotional, physical and financial toll can be huge when you consider that you have probably lost precious memorabilia and you have to repair damage and replace your damaged furniture. A waterproof basement remains warm and dry and it is safe from floods, leaks and water damage. You do not have to worry about the loss of valuable and irreplaceable items.
Lowering your premiums on your homeowner’s insurance policy
Insurance providers will always look for ways to keep customer claims at a minimum. When buying or renewing your homeowner’s policy, you should look for ways to benefit from discounts and lower rates. Insurance companies usually want the assurance that your home is as disaster, accident and theft proof as it can possibly be when offering coverage. Waterproofing your home helps to prevent floods, leaks and other damages and this can result in lower homeowner’s insurance rates.
A waterproofed basement can help to improve the overall value of your property. This means that if you are planning to sell the home sometime in the future, the basement renovation project will help you to get a better price. You can also convert the basement into usable space when you know that it will remain safe and dry.
March 1, 2015
Modern waterproofing techniques have now made wet and damp basements, a thing of the past. Over the past few decades, the construction industry has grown in leaps and bounds, especially when it is comes to waterproofing techniques and the material used for waterproofing basements.
Waterproofing is a necessity when any structure is built below or at the ground level. Many structures face moisture problems, which could be due to water seeping through tiny cracks in the foundation, or when the ground water reaches saturation and starts rising.
A wet basement leads to structural damage to the building and can ruin any expensive renovation. Cracked walls, mould, buckling walls and efflorescence are a sure-fire sign of water damage. The walls of the building can buckle and moisture seeping through the walls of your basement will eventually make it unliveable.
The techniques used for waterproofing a basement will stop water from entering the building, by the use of effective sealers and drainage. There are various techniques available for basement waterproofing, which include interior wall and floor sealants, interior drainage, and exterior drainage with waterproofing coatings.
For concrete foundation that has cracks and openings, interior floor sealants are used. Urethanes or Epoxies are pressure injected in the cracks, to fill them up in order to stop water leakage.
The interior drainage system uses a French drain to collect the water, before it enters the basement. It also uses vapour barriers to collect water coming from wall cracks, pipe protrusions, and directs it to the drain. This drain directs the water to a sump pump, which then carries the water out of the house.
When one needs to tackle condensation, interior waterproofing is the best option, especially, if the problem is that of minor dampness. Here, a sheet or tile covering will conceal drainage structures that carry and drain the water from the house.
Exterior waterproofing will help to stop moisture eroding the foundation of the building. A waterproof membrane, usually made of asphalt modified polyurethane is applied directly on the exterior walls of the foundation. Exterior drain tiles are also used, where a perforated pipe of a heavy duty material is used, which will be then connected to a sump pump.
Basement waterproofing will ensure that the property remains in a good condition and can fetch good value in the market. Whether the basement is used for storage or as a family room, it is important to keep it moisture and mould free to have a safe and healthy environment.