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AmeriSpec Home Inspection Service of Toronto West & Mississauga
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AmeriSpec Home Inspection Service of Toronto West & Mississauga delivers professional home inspections to Toronto West and its neighbouring communities, including Mississauga and Etobicoke.
AmeriSpec Home Inspection Service of Toronto West & Mississauga delivers professional home inspections to Toronto West and its neighbouring communities, including Mississauga and Etobicoke.

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Stories from the Trenches
We are often asked about strange things we encounter and what happens…
 
We recently performed an inspection of an older house that had been dressed up to sell. Generally, it was well done with new washrooms, a new coat of paint, a new electric panel etc. The bathrooms both had exhaust fans installed but the fans were improperly discharging into the attic. We educated the purchaser that this could cause a mould problem in the attic.
 
It was recommended that he make sure the renovator properly vent the fans to the exterior. The purchaser did make the request and even asked us to come back to ensure the work was done properly. We found that the renovator had connected the two fans into one duct and vented the duct through the soffit.
 
Bathroom exhaust fans are required to be individually vented with metal ductwork that is insulated. The vents must have a continuing upward slope and connected to a flapper vent to prevent back-drafting into the bathrooms. The vents were eventually installed correctly.

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The storm on July 8th affected us all to some extent.  We live in Toronto and we have a sump pump in our basement.  However, when we had the heavy rain and the power was out the sump filled up and overflowed into the finished area of our basement.  (We normally recommend to our rural customers that if they have a sump pump, they should have a battery back-up system.)  We do have a gas powered generator that we were able to get going fairly soon to prevent any major damage.  In speaking to a plumbing contractor after the flood, we were able to learn that the City of Toronto has a basement prevention subsidy program. (From the City of Toronto Water Site)

Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program

To assist homeowners, the City offers owners of single-family, duplex and triplex residential homes a financial subsidy of up to $3,200 per property to install flood protection devices including a backwater valve, a sump pump, and pipe severance and capping of the home's storm sewer or external weeping tile connection.

We were able to upgrade our sump pumps, (We now have 2) and install a sewage back-flow preventer and qualify for approximately $2,800 in City rebates!
 
So this is how it works:
There’s a normal electric sump pump that is activated by a float switch to pump water out when needed.  If the power is off or the first pump fails, there is a second float at a higher level that activates an impeller type pump.  This pump is connected to our water line and even if the power is off, we’ve always had water pressure.  For every 1 litre of water uses, it pumps out 2 litres from the sump.
 
We also installed a “Back-Flow Preventer”.  This is like trap door in the outgoing sewage line.  If sewage tries to flow back into our house, it closes the trap door and hopefully prevents a flood!
 
Both these devices are required for new construction in the City of Toronto.
 
Thanks,
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