Summer is officially upon us here in Toronto and that means many homeowners are thinking about their basements. Some homeowners are thinking about preventative measures when it comes to basement flooding (and luckily there are some ways you can save money performing these home upgrades), others are looking at renovating their basements. Basements are great spaces in your home, especially in the summer heat, and they need to be maintained and protected like any other part of your home – of particular importance in Toronto is backwater valve maintenance.

Part of Your Waterproofing Strategy

Backwater valves are a necessary part of your basement waterproofing strategy, especially in older homes that may not have one installed. They work by letting water through them but, in the case that water starts to move up your drain and into your home, the valve automatically blocks the water. This prevents basement flooding that comes from the outside sewer system, something you can’t control. The drain connecting to that sewer system, however, could use a valve to prevent flooding and sewage backup. Especially in parts of Toronto that have not had their sewage systems upgraded for some time, backwater valve maintenance will help prevent older, less effective sewer systems from permanently damaging your home.

In fact, many cities in North America have made these valves mandatory in new homes and offer money to owners of older homes to upgrade their waterproofing systems. Toronto also has one of these programs in place, so backwater valve installation is likely less expensive than you think.

The program is on a first come, first serve basis, so getting the work done and the proper applications and paperwork submitted sooner over later is in your favour. The program only recognizes work done by licensed professional plumbers, so make sure you use a properly registered and approved basement waterproofing expert when installing your backwater valve.

Make Sure It’s Functional

While newer homes probably have a backwater valve installed, this doesn’t mean it is working properly. If you notice your basement drain has water leaking out of it, especially after a heavy rain, get a professional to come and inspect the valve. Being purely mechanical, these valves can degrade over time, which leads to product failure, and wet basements. Never attempt to clean a backwater valve out with a plumbing snake, the snake can damage the valve’s seals when pulled out and permanently damage your the valve. Instead, hire a trained professional to carry out backwater valve maintenance services.

Backwater valves are an essential aspect of every home’s waterproofing systems. They can protect you from basement flooding, sewage backwash, and other harmful sources of water damage that can permanently ruin your home. If you are asking yourself “Do I need a backwater valve?” The answer is almost always yes. If you are asking yourself “Is my backwater valve working properly?” Call a professional.

Andrew Olexiuk - Your Toronto Plumbing Expert
Andrew Olexiuk - Your Toronto Plumbing Expert
Andrew has over 20 years of experience as a plumbing contractor. He is co-owner and operator of Absolute Draining & Plumbing, a professional plumbing company serving residential & commercial properties across the Toronto, Ontario region.
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