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How to Repair Wet Basement Walls: Guide for Homeowners

Wet basement walls can cause a lot of issues for homeowners. From mold and mildew to foundation problems to issues with insects and rodents. Are the walls in your basement damp? Do you know how to repair wet basement walls?

There are quite a few things you can do to fix such issues as wet basement Toronto. In the following article, we shall discuss how to resolve issues with wet basement walls as well as how to prevent the issue from recurring. Of course, if the issue is serious, you should contact a plumber, but we are confident that these steps can help keep your basement dry.

How to Repair Wet Basement Walls

Following are some tips from the experts on how to repair wet basement problems:

Install Gutter Extensions

Are the downspouts dumping water away from your home 5 feet or under? Simply adding metal or plastic gutter extensions can redirect the water farther from your home. However, this is not a long-term solution, as this type of extensions is intrusive and may get in your way. It is best to install a permanent drainpipe system underground, as it is sturdier and more capable of moving large amounts of water farther from your house than plastic or metal gutter extensions. 

Plug Gaps

Water can leak into a basement via gaps or cracks in or around the plumbing pipes. Using polyurethane caulking or hydraulic cement, you can easily plug these holes on your own. However, if the water is coming in where the walls and floor meet at the joint or up through the floor, plugging will not fix the problems, as the issue is groundwater in this scenario.

Rebuild the Crown

If you tried plugging any holes or cracks and your gutters are not the issue, it could mean that the surface water is not properly draining away from your home. As your home most likely sits on a crown of soil sloping more than 6 inches above the first ten feet going in every direction, you may need to rebuild the crown. Over time, the soil will settle and can lead to water seepage. By simply rebuilding this crown, you can prevent water from entering your basement

Repair the Footing Drains

The issue could be a result of hydrostatic pressure moving the water upward from the ground. This would result in the water leaking low on your basement walls where it meets the floor. If you have footing drains that carry the water away from your home’s foundation, you can check to see if they are clogged and clean them out by flushing them with a garden hose. 

Insert a Curtain Drain

If the issue does not lie within the footing drains, a curtain drain can be used to divert the water. This is a shallow trench (1.5 feet across and 2 feet deep) that is filled with perforated piping and gravel. It will catch the water and move it away from your home. However, if the drain area passes underneath shrubs or trees, you should use solid piping, as the roots could grow into the pipe and cause it to become easily clogged.

Waterproof the Basement Walls

If none of the above methods seem to resolve the issue, you should waterproof the basement walls. This is the most reliable way to keep your basement dry. Exterior waterproofing will protect the foundation of your basement while the French drain system will help to lower the hydrostatic pressure. This is an involved process that requires the work of a professional plumber, but it is the best means of protecting your basement walls from water damage.

If you have any further questions on how to repair wet basement walls, do not hesitate to contact DrainCom. We can advise you on the best way to waterproof your basement. Call us today for a quote for professional basement waterproofing.

Tips on How to Clean Drains to Prevent Clogs

Part of your regular cleaning routine should be cleaning the drains in your home. We all know that drain clogs are extremely inconvenient. However, in most cases, you do not need a plumber to fix a clogged drain. Knowing how to clean drains is beneficial, as it helps prevent future clogs and other issues. 

Cleaning your drains regularly can help prevent costly drain repair. If the following methods for drain cleaning do not resolve the issue, it might be necessary to call a plumber for assistance. However, these methods typically can fix most minor drain clogs

How to Clean Drains: Safest and Most Effective Methods

Following we shall discuss the benefits of drain cleaning as well as how to unclog drains naturally. Using store-bought, harsh chemicals could damage the drains and pipes, thus resulting in more costly repairs over time. These DIY methods are safe and convenient. If you are a little bit hesitant about trying to fix a drain on your own, it is better to call a professional plumber. 

Pros of drain cleaning:

  1. Regular drain cleaning will prevent hard water deposits from forming on your pipes. These deposits can cause a great deal of damage. Cleaning your drains with natural solutions will not only get rid of these deposits, but it will also prevent new calcium deposits and hard water deposits from forming and corroding your pipes. 
  2. Cleaning the drain will get rid of nasty food particles and other substances that can cause unpleasant odors. These particles can lead to such problems as insect and bug issues and mold growth, which can lead to serious health concerns.
  3. Drain cleaning can help extend the lifetime of your plumbing and drainage system, which can early decay on the pipes and can be quite costly to replace. In addition, it can prevent future drain clogs

How to Clean Drains with Natural Cleaners

Dish Detergent and Hot Water

This method is one of the most effective as well as easiest, as these ingredients are almost always on hand. First, simply boil 2 liters of water. Then, add a few tablespoons of liquid dish detergent making sure not to add too much, as it will only cause bubbles. Taking care not to splash or spill the water, which can result in burns, pour the mixture down the sink drain. It may be necessary to do this a few times, but it is proven to be the best way to remove any grease residue in the drain. 

Salt, Vinegar, and Borax

Make a mixture of ¼ cups of both borax and salt and pour the mixture down the drain carefully. Immediately follow with ½ cup of white vinegar. Follow this with a pot of boiling water and then plug the drain allowing it to sit for at least thirty minutes. 

Vinegar and Baking Soda

This combination is great for both cleaning clogged toilets and sink drains. First, pour ½ cup of baking soda down the drain (or toilet). Next, pour ½ cup of white or apple cider vinegar. Plug the sink or allow to sit in the toilet for about an hour. At that time, carefully pour a pot of boiling water down the drain until it has cleared completely. 

Have you tried these methods of how to clean drains and the issue still is not resolved? Call DrainCom to schedule an appointment with one of our expert plumbers today!

How to Fix a Leaking Basement from the Inside: Tips for Homeowners

Are you having issues with a leaky basement? Is it better to fix it from outside or inside the basement? Do you know how to fix a leaking basement from the inside?

Are these the questions you have been wondering about lately? Have you been putting off basement repairs for some time now?

Following is some expert advice on the difference between fixing a leaking basement from the interior vs the exterior. This will help you make an informed decision about the best way to waterproof your basement

How to Fix a Leaking Basement from the Inside: Pros and Cons

One of the first things you will need to do is to determine the source of the leak. Is the water in the basement leaking where wall meets floor? Is it coming from the pipes? Once you have determined the source of the leak, you can decide what type of waterproofing must be done to fix the leak. Both internal and external basement waterproofing has its advantages as well as some disadvantages and some varying expenses. It is always best to seek the advice of a professional plumber when it comes to serious issues with leaky basements.

Unresolved basement leaks can lead to serious issues, such as weakening the foundation, damaging your furniture, walls, carpet, and belongings, bug and rodent infestation, and mold and mildew issues. Waterproofing your basement can help prevent these issues and save you a lot of money on costly repairs. 

Interior Waterproofing

You might be confused as to what it means to waterproof your basement from the inside. Interior basement waterproofing involves hiring a professional to dig a trench and install a footer drain. This will help to redirect the water away from your home to a safe drainage point. In addition, a sump pump might be needed.

In order to access the foundation, it is necessary to remove the drywall. It is much easier to pinpoint the exact source of the leak from inside as opposed to outside. Overall, this process is less expensive than external waterproofing, which involves excavation. As opposed to external waterproofing, which only patches a portion of the home, internal waterproofing will completely fill the source of the leak from inside to outside. Another advantage of this method is that the workers will not be affected by weather conditions, which should make the process go quicker and smoother. 

Exterior Waterproofing

With exterior waterproofing, excavating the foundation of the basement will be needed to pinpoint the source of the leak. Moreover, the footer drain will need to be removed and then replaced, and the foundation will need to be covered by a dimpled membrane. You may incur additional costs due to landscaping to repair any issues from the process. Also, it may take longer, as the process is dependent on outside weather conditions. On average, exterior basement waterproofing costs are three times higher than the cost of interior waterproofing.

There are some other issues that may arise with this method. There is a greater risk of such issues as gas lines being cut or the roof caving in during the excavation process. 

If you have any concerns about how to fix a leaking basement from the inside, contact the expert staff at DrainCom. We can help you determine which form of basement waterproofing is best for you. Give us a call today to schedule an in-home consultation.

DIY Guide: How to Install a Toilet

At one point or another, you may need to replace your toilet. It could be part of a DIY home renovation project or you may need to do it due to some type of malfunction. Not everyone knows how to replace a toilet. But if you have the right tools, you can easily install one on your own. Toilet installation is not that difficult if you follow the guide we have provided below for you!

How to Install a Toilet: Step by Step DIY Guide

List of the tools needed to replace a toilet:

  • Screwdriver
  • Stainless steel washers
  • Torpedo level
  • Wax ring

Step 1: Remove the Old Toilet and Assemble the New One

Remove the old toilet and any debris. Properly clean and prepare the area before the next steps.

It is best to assemble the toilet after removing the old one, as the tank will help add more weight, making it easier to support while installing. Most of toilet kits are fully equipped with the necessary parts and tools.

Step 2: Prepare the Flange

Inspect the flange for any damage or cracks. If there is any damage, you can fix it easily with a flange repair kit, which is sold at local home improvement or DIY stores. 

Step 3: Position closet bolts

Experts advise using self-adjusting closet bolts. In this way, you will not need to cut or snap excessive bolt length. One of the advantages of these bolts is that they have a white thread locker. This drives the stud deeper into the anchor nut once it has been reached by hex nut.

Making sure they are snug against the flange, move the lock washers after slipping the closet bolts on either side. 

Step 4: Install a Wax Ring

The wax ring can be installed on the underside of the toilet or directly on the flange. There is less chance of it becoming loose or falling off on the flange. You can substitute an extended height wax ring if the flange sits too low.

Step 5: Set the Toilet in Place

Next, position the new toilet over the flange, making sure to line it up properly with the closet bolt holes. Once it has been properly positioned, then press the toilet firmly on the floor.

Step 6: Install Washer & Nuts

By hand and on both sides, tighten the nuts after inserting the regular and nylon washers, placing them over the bolts. 

Step 7: Level the Toilet

Carefully, inspect the toilet from side to side and front to back to make sure that it is level.

If it is not level or sturdy, shim it using pennies or stainless-steel washers. Once you are certain that it is level, make sure that the pennies are out of sight but still underneath the edge. Next, tighten the closet bolt nuts, making sure they are not too tight. Finally, conceal the closet bolts by attaching the bolt caps.

Step 8: Attach Supply Line

As most toilets require a 3/8” connector, it will eliminate the use of Teflon tape to wrap the threads.

Step 9: Verify the Fill Level

After all the connections are in place, open the supply valve and wait for the tank to fill up. Carefully inspect for leaks and properly adjust the fill valve until the water reaches the fill line.

Step 10: Caulk the Base 

If so desired, caulk the base of the toilet to give it a clean and polished look, making sure to leave a “weep hole” (gap) to make it easier to detect leaks.

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