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Home > Ideas & Tips > Water Damage Prevention

Water Damage Prevention

Helpful tips to protect your home from water damage

Indoors

Bathroom Sink Kitchen Sink
Bathroom Sink | Kitchen Sink

Appliances, plumbing and pipes

  • Listen - unusual sounds may lead you to a leaky line or pipe
  • Repair - leaky toilets and faucets cost you money and may lead to bigger leaks and problems
  • Look - inspect around and under your hot water tank, washing machine and sinks
  • Replace - a leaky toilet drain can cause massive damage to the structure of your house - you can easily replace the wax toilet ring to ensure a leak-proof seal
  • Install - consider a water damage alarm that can provide early warning to minimize damage from leaks or floods

Sewers and sump pumps

  • Install - a sump pump can draw off unwanted water - be sure to check the pump on a regular basis and have a plumber inspect it on a yearly basis - consider a battery operated pump to protect your home even during power outages
  • Install - a sewer backflow preventer valve will automatically close if the main sewer water gets backed up preventing sewer water from entering your home

Ceilings

  • Look - bubbling paint or stains on ceilings can indicate a leaking pipe or roof
  • Trace - leaks from your roof can appear far from the source - check thoroughly and trace the water to its source

Walls

  • Look - bubbling paint and stains on walls can indicate a leak from a pipe, toilet or shower drain, foundation or more
  • Feel - check walls with your hands feeling for evidence of flaking, dampness, stains or mould - temperature changes can also indicate the presence of water behind your paint or wallpaper

Floors

  • Look - look for water stains, bubbling tiles, or flaking surfaces - especially near dishwashers and sinks
  • Never cover a floor drain - they serve a purpose and should be easily accessed

Moisture Problems

  • Maintain - use a dehumidifier if you have a consistently damp basement or room in your house
  • Ventilate - make sure that you have proper venting in your bathroom and kitchen to avoid damaging condensation - also ensure that your dryer is properly vented and that the hose is clear of obstructions - an improperly vented dryer can create a moisture build up
Wax Ring Kits

Wax Ring Kits

Thread Seal Tape

Thread Seal Tape

Provides a clean, positive seal on threaded connections

Water Damage Alarms

Water Damage Alarms

Backflow Preventer Valve

Backflow Preventer Valve

Dehumidifiers

Dehumidifiers

Remove excess moisture from damp areas such as basements

Sump Pumps

Sump Pumps

Outdoors Shop all outdoor drainage

Roof

  • Inspect - Be sure to have your roof inspected annually - look for cracked, broken, loose or missing shingles; leaks and holes in downspouts and gutters
  • Clean - Clear your gutters and downspouts of debris - consider installing leaf guards to keep leaves out permanently
  • Aim - Direct your downspout away from your house
  • Seal - Ensure any screws or other fasteners are properly sealed
  • Inspect - Inspect and repair seals around your chimney, roof stacks, vents and skylights

Windows and Walls

  • Inspect and repair glazing, weather-stripping, door seals and window seals - replace caulking to ensure a watertight seal
  • Look for cracks on your walls and foundation and repair with crack filler or call the professionals for larger damage
  • Make sure any siding is securely fastened and replace any missing screws
  • Stay on top of snow removal - keep snow and water away from your exterior walls
  • Drain exterior water pipes and shut off the water for the winter
Leak Stopper Roof Coating

Leak Stopper Roof Coating

Window and Door Caulk

Window and Door Caulk

Concrete Crack Filler

Concrete Crack Filler

Fibre Roof Coating

Fibre Roof Coating

Seals cracks and splits - great for roofs around skylights, vents, exhaust pipes, chimneys, valleys, construction or repair of flashings, roll roofing and shingles

Gutter Covers / Leaf Guards

Gutter Covers / Leaf Guards

Prevent the accumulation of debris in gutters

Weather Stripping

Weather Stripping

For windows and doors

prevent basement flooding

Rain

Unfortunately, every home is at risk of basement flooding. The biggest risk occurs when there has been a heavy rainfall, the winter snow is melting or during the spring thaw. The good news is that you can prevent or at least reduce the chance of this happening with a bit of preventative maintenance.

Keep water from ending up in your basement:

Basement flooding Basement flooding Basement flooding
Concrete Crack Filler
Concrete Crack Filler

Fill any foundation cracks with concrete filler.

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Hydraulic Water Stop Concrete Repair
Hydraulic Water Stop Concrete Repair

Seal any holes created for electrical or pluming sources with water-stopping concrete repair.

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shop all surface repair
Shovels
Shovels

Make sure that the ground slopes AWAY from your house all the way around - build up areas of bare soil or add soil beneath patio stones where you can.

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Telescoping Wand Hose Attachment
Telescoping Wand Hose Attachment

Clear out any debris or blockages in your eaves to ensure that water flows where it is supposed to flow - a telescoping wand lets you get the chore done without the need of a ladder or a spotter.

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Eavestrough Accessories
Eavestrough Accessories

Install diverter on your down spouts to ensure that the water drains away from your house.

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Gutter Accessories
Gutter Accessories

... installing gutter filters can make this an easier chore.

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Sump Pumps
Sump Pumps

Install a sump pump to draw any water away that does get in and prevent build up.

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Backflow preventer Valve
Backflow preventer Valve

Install a Backflow preventer valve - this acts as a one-way valve on your main sewer drain and prevents water from backing up into your house when there is too much water for the sewer system to handle.

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Back up sump pump buying guide

As more and more families use their basements for family rooms, media rooms, offices, and extra bedrooms, it becomes more important to keep this space dry. A backup sump pump will help keep your basement from flooding.

Basement Waterproofing with a Backup Sump Pump

Ideally, a basement will have a variety of safeguards in place:

  • Drain tile installed to collect groundwater and direct it to a sump pit where it can be pumped away from the house via a sump pump.
  • Landscape graded away from the foundation sloping down toward a storm sewer or a swale that directs the water away from the house.
  • Gutters to collect rainwater, and downspouts to empty the water a minimum of six feet from the foundation (the further the better).
  • A waterproof barrier installed around the outside perimeter of the foundation.

If any of these basement waterproofing systems are missing or compromised, water may collect around the house and seep through the foundation or floor. The cause of a wet basement may be hard to diagnose and costly to fix. Before you call a basement waterproofing expert, here are a few simple things to try:

  • Check your sump pump and its valve operation by pouring water into the sump pit. Be sure it is actually pumped outside.
  • Make sure your gutters and downspouts are free of debris.
  • Check the slope of your lot during the next rainstorm. It's possible the house may have settled and the land may need to be re-graded away from the foundation.

If the water problems are not obvious, check with your local city engineering office. They may have a water specialist on staff, or they may be able to suggest an independent engineer who can diagnose the problem. Once the problem has been identified, they will be able to steer you to the proper basement waterproofing expert for your specific problem.

Common Sump Pump Issues

At any given time one of the following situations can occur making your main pump inoperable:

  • The power can go out.
  • The main pump can become clogged or can seize up.
  • The float switch can fail or get stuck.
  • There may be too much water for the main sump pump to handle.
  • The check valve on the main pump may fail.
  • The discharge pipe may freeze or become clogged.

When any of these events occur, the result is a flooded basement. By using a backup sump pump you can protect yourself and keep your basement dry.

Backup Sump Pumps

Install a backup sump pump in your sump pit so you're protected during a power outage, in times of excessive rain, or in the event your main sump pump fails. A backup sump pump is a system used to protect your basement from flooding when the main sump pump isn't operating. There are several types of backup systems including battery powered and water powered. When purchasing a backup pump, the most important consideration is the need for a completely redundant system, which includes a second sump pump, second float switch, and a secondary power source.

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