One of the biggest things to go wrong in a condominium is a scenario where sewage or water begins to leak into tenants’ apartments.
While there are temporary solutions that the property manager may implement to fix the immediate issue, these solutions should only be employed if you can wait for routine plumbing business hours. However, if the problem includes a sewage or water leak that can lead to the growth of bacteria or mold, an emergency plumber should be called immediately to ensure the safety of your property and tenants.
We’ve covered some of the scenarios where resorting to an emergency plumber is absolutely necessary, and what you can do while you wait for them to arrive.
We recently discussed Toronto’s basement flooding problem, and outlined how you can go about getting a City of Toronto subsidy to outfit your basement with flood prevention systems such as a sump pump or backwater valve.
It’s not just a problem faced in Toronto, however. Of the 26 municipalities surveyed by the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Prevention (ICLR) 42% reported basement flooding several times throughout the year, which is why installing preventative measures is integral if you’re in an area that regularly sees flooding.
However, if it’s too late for that and you’re looking at knee-deep water in your building’s basement or underground parking garage, there are a few things to immediately consider before calling in 24-hour emergency plumber in Toronto:
- Ensure that any flooded areas have had the electricity completely shut off.
The last thing you need on top of property damage from a flood is for someone to get electrocuted.
- Double-check to see if it’s just rainwater, or if it has been contaminated with sewage.
- Ensure that no one goes into the area until it has been cleared as safe by both an electrician and emergency plumber.
An emergency plumber can identify where the issue is coming from and potentially stop the source of the leak. If the flooding is due to excessive rain, it may already be too late to save your basement. The best thing you can do is turn off your power, ride out the storm, and call a plumber.
Alternatively, if a specific tenant’s apartment is flooding because of stormwater, or backed up pipes, you want to immediately shut the water off to prevent the water from seeping into the homes of tenants who live below. Call a 24-hour plumber in Toronto to identify and quickly resolve the problem.
Backed up drains/toilet
If, by chance, your tenants haven’t been properly maintaining their drains and allowing gunk, grime, and dirt to build up, water may not drain properly. This may potentially result in blockup in other sinks or drains in the building.
Considering that 27% of our water consumption is based on toilet use, ensuring that these lines
are clear of blockages is incredibly important. But one way to tell if a main line is also backed up is by checking your toilet for signs of inconsistencies.
If it is a main line build up, water in drains throughout the building could gurgle or up through the lowest level drains, or even through your toilet water. If you’re seeing sewage or soapy water from washing machines in your lowest drains, or have heard from your residents that water bubbles in their toilets, it could be time to call an emergency plumber.
With one of the above signs of a blockage present, a burst pipe or flooding situation is imminent, and you want to come out ahead of it.
Furthermore, if you have a sewage problem present itself in any tenant’s apartment, or in the basement, you want to immediately locate the problem and clean it in the most hygienic way to prevent anyone from getting sick because of the exposure. Your best bet to ensure proper care is taken to fix the problem is to call a 24-hour emergency plumber in Toronto.
Due to the intensive repair, and having to throw out multiple items, average single-family insurance claims for backup sewer damage in Canada usually falls anywhere between $3,000 to $5,000. For larger, multi-unit buildings however, that upfront bill could be quite hefty.
Burst or frozen pipe
A burst pipe can be the result of either ageing or cracked pipes that simply cannot withstand the constant pressure that is put on them.
The danger, in this case, is that it can happen suddenly and without much warning. A burst pipe in the underground system can be a result of freezing temperatures, or water that isn’t warmed properly before moving through the pipes and freezes on its way to the inside of your building.
However, a burst pipe in the floor, ceiling, or walls of a building can result in costly water damage and the displacement of affected residents. A burst pipe on higher levels will continue to pour water until the water main is switched off. A sudden waterfall from the ceiling is especially dangerous because the electricity may still be on in the units.
At Canadian Pipe Lining Technologies, we recommend addressing ageing piper or sewer main problems before they become giant issues. If you’re responsible for the upkeep of a condo, apartment, or hotel, ensuring that you do your due diligence to maintain your pipes can prevent inconveniencing your residents with these tragic emergencies.
We also suggest keeping a qualified 24-hour plumber in Toronto on your speed dial to assist in case these tragedies strike.