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Having a licensed ExpressRooter master plumber perform a video camera plumbing inspection of your home’s drainage system is the best way to prevent a basement flood. The inspection gives the plumbing contractor and the homeowner a clear picture of the condition of the drain below ground level and detects any obstructions, blockages, cracks, misalignments and other potential problems that could lead to the collapse of the drain and a catastrophic sewer back-up.

Sewer back-ups happen suddenly, and usually without much in the way of warning. You might find the water in your shower draining a little slowly before you go to bed and wake up with a foot of water in your basement. Once a back-up starts to build, there is little or no time to protect yourself. A video camera plumbing inspection provides you with an understanding of your home’s drainage system and the steps you need to take to prevent problems before they happen.

Q & A with ExpressRooter Owner/Master Plumber/Mechanical Engineer Marcin Wroblewski

Q: I’m thinking of buying an older home in the GTA. What plumbing problems am I likely to encounter?

A: Pipes in older homes in the Toronto core are clay, which is brittle and fragile. When pressure is applied to clay pipes, they crack. Once a crack develops, water seeps into the ground and, in older areas where there are mature trees, this moisture build-up attracts tree roots. The roots penetrate the crack and begin to grow inside the pipe, impacting and eventually preventing drainage and causing sewage backups. In Toronto, 80 to 90 per cent of plumbing problems are caused by tree roots.

Q: What is a sewer back-up?

A: Once a drain becomes clogged, water can no longer drain freely. It fills the pipe and begins to back up. As the water backs up in the underground drain, it needs to find an exit, typically a floor drain in the basement. The back-up might also be noticeable as standing water or slowly draining water in shower drains and the drains in other basement fixtures, such as vanity sinks and laundry tubs.

Q: I have a new home. Why do I need a plumbing inspection?

A: The drains in new homes are made of PVC. Plastic is naturally elastic and flexible and as the new house settles, pipes can loose their support and deform, creating a belly where water sits and blockages form.

What our customers say

“The risk for a sewer back-up exists regardless of the age of your home. The risk is higher in older homes but even new homes – and newer homes that have undergone renovation – can present with plumbing problems. Compare it to buying a car. The risk of encountering problems that require repair is higher in a 10-year old vehicle, but new cars are certainly not immune to bugs. A blockage in any home can lead to sewer back-up. We recommend plumbing home inspections for every homeowner or homebuyer.”

Marcin Wroblewski

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