It's been an unusual winter in London, Ontario. December and January were unusually mild. The Valentine's Day weekend we just went through gave us a reminder that winter is not through with us yet.
We saw the temperature drop below -20°C. We also had a lot of snow, which is unusual when it’s really cold. That combination of events had our phones ringing off the hook. We were able to help many Londoner's with very serious problems.
Many of the problems we find ourselves dealing with are preventable. We had a plumbing call from a homeowner that had water coming into the basement. We found out it was coming from the neighbour’s house. They had gone away and did not turn off the water to their outside taps. The pipe to their outside tap burst and was running for a long enough period of time that water was running into two basements.
It was a good thing we were there. The neighbour just arrived back home and did not know how to shut off the water. They had 2 inches of water in their basement, because their floor drain was plugged. You can click here to read our blog about floor drains.
We've written a web page of what you need to know in an emergency. You can read it by clicking here. One of the most important things is that you need to make sure that everybody in the home knows how to turn off the water to the house.
We responded to two calls for no heat, which were also easily preventable. One was caused by snow blocking the furnace intake pipe. Click here to read about solving this common problem.
The second no heat call was simply caused by a dirty furnace filter. Click here to read about changing your furnace filter.
The cold snap is over and now we are in for a mild spell. That's going to create some problems as well. All the snow we have will be melting quickly. Here are a few tips of what to watch for:
- Make sure the discharge line from your sump pump is clear (not frozen) and the water is running away from the house.
- Make sure that water is not sitting next to your foundation, blocked from draining away by piles of ice and snow.
- Make sure your sump pump is operating. A battery backup sump pump is a great idea to protect your basement. If you have one, this is a good time to let it run and allow the battery to run down and recharge. If you don't have one, click here to read why they are a good idea.
If you don’t know what we are talking about, not sure whether or not you have a sump pump, or just not handy, call us to come out and show you what you need to check. The cost of a service call is good insurance. It’s far cheaper than dealing with a flooded basement.