How to fix drainage problems?

If your house does not have properly working drainage, you may face dramatic problems one day. First of all, the foundation is rather vulnerable to excess humidity. Then, the health of your family members can be at risk. Finally, poor drainage can have long-lasting consequences that will cost you much over time. The way out is to maintain your drainage and fix it  immediately if you see that something is wrong. To do it is not as easy as it may seem. So, you need to know some simple things about how to deal with this problem.

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How to Prepare Your Plumbing for Winter in 7 Easy Steps

If your home is not ready for winter, cold temperatures can harm your plumbing system and lead to costly damage caused by burst pipes. So you should take certain measures to protect your plumbing system from winter weather and avoid costly burst pipes issues. Learn how you can prepare your home and your plumbing for winter and prevent plumbing damage from freezing.

  • Check your pipes for leaks and fix them

It’s the first step that you should take. Inspect all your pipes and check them for possible leaks. In winter months, even the smallest leak can cause serious problems. If the temperature drops, the water in your pipes can freeze and swell and lead to bursting pipe around the leaky section and spread to surrounding pipes which can be expensive and time-consuming to fix. If you notice any signs of leaks, you should have all leaks repaired early because that can save you unnecessary work in the future.

  • Insulate your pipes in unheated areas

Water pipes in your crawl area, garage, basement or attic are more vulnerable to freezing when the temperature drops. Insulation is the first thing you should do to prevent leaks, cracks and burst pipes in these unheated areas and it will be wise to protect pipes in closets or under sinks as well. Wrap all exposed pipes using heat tape, insulation foam or insulation sleeves and do not leave any gaps.

  • Winterize your outside faucets

Turn off outdoor faucets and taps and drain water from them. A good idea is to turn off the water supply to them. Disconnect and drain water hoses and store them indoors in winter.

  • Service your water heater

Give your water heater a tune up. You should drain and maintain your water heater to get rid of sediments at the bottom of the tank but as it’s hard to do it yourself, you should call a qualified professional for this task. He will do a professional check and repair to keep you from making an emergency call to a plumber in winter.

  • Open cupboard doors

Leave cabinets doors open under sinks in your bathroom, kitchen or basement to allow warm air to circulate and insulate the pipes to prevent them from freezing.

  • Keep your home warm

Make sure your heating system is in good order and do not turn off your furnace even if you are going away for winter holidays. You should keep the thermostat set at least to 55 degrees to avoid thousands of dollars in water in water damage from a burst pipe.

It’s vital to invest your time and take care of your plumbing system before the winter sets in so you don’t have to worry about frozen pipes or deal with any plumbing emergency in winter when you need your pipes the most. If you want to get a professional plumbing system inspection, contact our team of certified plumbing experts at Tornado Plumbing. We will gladly help you prepare your plumbing for winter. We also provide emergency plumbing services 24/7 and offer competitive rates.

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Basement full range plumbing renovation

In May Tornado Plumbing was busy doing complete plumbing renovation of the basement for client in Toronto Downtown. This project included the following:

  1. Complete basement demolition, which included removal of the following:
    • Brick and drywall walls
    • Subfloor
    • Ceiling
    • Old washroom
    • Old concrete floor
  2. Removal of clay drains and replacing them with plastic (PVC) drains
  3. Installation of backwater valve
  4. Rough-ins installation for toilet, vanity and shower
  5. Installation of floor drains with primers
  6. Interior waterproofing of basement walls
  7. Basement concrete floor finish
  8. Removal of brick posts and installation of new adjustable metal posts

It took us almost 9 days to finish this project , which is 2 days sooner than original estimate we gave to our client.

Basement demolition

Making drains and concrete floor 11-min

We started from removing of all the garbage in the basement and preparing the area for demolition of drywalls. After all the garbage and drywalls were removed, we took down one small brick wall which was separating the washroom from the rest of the basement. Then we removed the remaining part of old washroom and prepared for demolishing ceiling. Ceiling was removed in no time and we started working on subfloor and then concrete floor removal. This stage was the most labor intense part as it involved a lot of work with jackhammer and we had to clean the floor from the remains of the old concrete.

Clay drains replacement

Making drains and concrete floor 17-min

When we removed the concrete floor, old clay drains where exposed and it was easy to replace them with new pvc pipes. It took us only a few hours to finish this part of the project.

Backwater valve installation

Backwater valve installation was next on our list. It’s extremely important to install it to prevent sewer backup. Moreover, city of Toronto gives a rebate of up to $1,250 for backwater valves installed by Tornado Plumbing. Our plumbers installed it and made sure that every single step and detail are aligned with city guidelines, so that our client received a rebate from Toronto.

Floor drains and primers

Now we started preparing basement for new drains that would be a substitute for old clay ones. That was easy to do since we prepared the area and now it was just a matter of placing pipes. Also, to prevent sewer gas from coming into the basement we have added a trap seal (a P shaped piece of pipe) and a priming line that ensures the water in the seal does not dry out. It is important to always have water there as it is the main barrier for sewer gas.

Waterproofing of basement walls

Making drains and concrete floor 9-min

After drains were finished we moved to waterproofing of the walls in basement. In Ontario it is extremely important to prevent basement floods. As in winter moist that gets into the concrete of walls from outside freezes and expands, which results in cracks and when spring comes water leaks through those cracks into the basement. We used waterproofing membrane to cover the walls of basement and prevent water from coming in.

Concrete floor finish

Making drains and concrete floor 21-min

When walls were ready, we covered the floor surface with gravel and prepared everything for pouring the concrete. It took us some time as we had to level the concrete to make sure the floor is flat. The process was long and involved a lot of man/hours, but we managed to make the new basement floor perfectly even and flat.

Substitution of brick posts with metal ones

Changing brick posts to metal adjustable posts 5-min

Now when the floor was ready, we still had to demolish old brick posts and substitute them with new adjustable metal posts. This change was a huge improvement in terms of space usage and safety. We were demolishing and substituting brick posts with metal one by one, as we had to ensure that the weight of the house was evenly distributed. The results were stunning, we managed to release the amount of space that was around 15% of the total area of the basement.

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