A wet basement is more than an annoyance; it’s also a terrible health hazard that can lower the value of a property.  Not only does mould growth tend to appear and proliferate in a wet basement, but the smells associated with mould and mildew begin to infiltrate all areas of the home.  Because mould particles have been shown to cause a host of physical ailments from headaches to seizures, it’s best to address the underlying causes of the wet basement as soon as possible.

First of all, it’s essential to understand exactly why some basements become wet.  In Ontario, during heavy rains, the municipal drainage and sewage systems can become overwhelmed by the amount of water flowing into them.  Eventually, they cannot hold any more liquid, so they begin to back up.  That “backed up” water goes into a basement through floor drains, sinks and, yes, even toilets.

In the basement repair industry, this type of event is called “back flow”.  (Homeowners, of course, have other names for the experience!)

To solve a wet basement problem caused by this kind of issue, it’s necessary to install a back flow preventer.  The back flow preventer is a large, one-way valve that’s connected to the main drain exiting from the house.  The back flow preventer works as a mechanism to avoid nasty water from entering the basement.  A back flow preventer valve is typically installed under the basement floor.  It generally has an access hatch which sits flush with the floor and can be covered with flooring material.

Yes, a backed-up sewer issue is normally covered by homeowners insurance, but who wants to deal with the unpleasantness of removing contaminated materials or refurbishing a basement?  As with all wet basement problems, it’s best to tackle the sewer issue before it happens.  In fact, many insurance companies reward their customers with a rate discount if they have a back flow preventer in place.

It all boils down to prevention, and homeowners who take steps to avoid future problems are always in a better situation than those who don’t.

To learn more about back flow preventers, please contact the professionals at The Crack Doctor today.