Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Happy Holidays from Village Builders

Happy Holidays from Village Builders

We are closed from December 22nd to January 6th returning on the 7th of January.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Battery Back-up For Your Sump Pump

With the weather becoming more unpredictable so are things like power failures.

Power failures can be wide spread or they can be as localized as only your street or even your house if the wrong wires gets damaged at the street. Usually power failures happen when there is a big storm with lots of rain or snow. What does that bring with it? Moisture, lots of moisture.

Every house should have in it a sump pump hole with a proper robost sump pump in it. But what happens to your sump pump hole and your sump pump when the power fails.

Well when the power fails your sump pump turns off, nothing happens to your sump pump, the water that is around it won't hurt it, they are designed to be submerged in water. It just sits there waiting to have electricity resupplied to it.

Your sump pump hole on the other hand is another matter. Modern homes have a weeping tile around the outside of the house, this is connected to your sump pump hole. The reason for this design is that it brings the excess water that is around the outside of the house and under the house to the sump pump hole/pit. As more water comes through the pipe the level of water in the sump pump pit rises. In normal circumstances when it rises it eventually gets to a point where your sump pump detects the water, turns on and ejects the water out a pipe, the pipe goes outside and away from the house. If your sump pump does not turn on (like in a power failure) then the water will keep rising until it comes out the top of your sump pump hole and covers the basement/crawlspace. The level of water will be affected by the amount of ground water that is around the house.

When the power returns the sump pump will turn on and remove the water overtime (as long as nothing has happened to the sump pump). There are actually things that can happen to a sump pump because of a power failure;
  1. Pop a breaker. If your sump pump comes on when the power returns and hits hard right away it can trip the breaker turning the power off to it. This means that the pump will not work until someone physically pushes the breaker back to its set position.
  2. Debris Clog. If the water has flooded the basement then when the sump pump starts pumping debris can be carried back to the sump pump hole (carried on the water as it recedes) and clogging the sump pump line or propeller.
  3. Float interference. The float or check valve of the sump pump can be infringed by things that are floating in the water, this would mean that the float would not return to its position to allow the pump to turn on as the level of the water rises again.
  4. Power surge. The shock of the power surge going off or coming on can damage the motor in the pump depending on how far down the sump pump plug is wired in the panel when the surge hits the electrical panel.
One of the best things you can do is install a backup sump pump, one that runs on batteries.
A battery back up pump never runs unless the water gets higher then the original sump pump. It is a smaller pump, it is not meant to run for long periods of time, but it is good enough to keep the water level below the floor of your basement when the power goes out.

The battery is charged by the same electrical line that feeds power to the normal sump pump, it engages with the power failure and the higher then normal water levels in the sump pump hole.

It is not that expensive a cost to have it installed and any qualified plumber can install one in your home. 

The only other alternative is to have a back up generator installed and that is a costly project to have completed. This still does not protect you if your primary sump pump fails, it just allows the primary sump pump to stay working throughout the power failure.

So for your basements safety and some piece of mind talk to your contractor about a battery backup in your sump pump hole.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Renovation Decisions Are Key To A Smooth Project

When you are renovating before you start you (as the homeowner) should take the time to make as many decisions as possible.

When I say as many decisions as possible I don't just mean the general layout of what you want accomplished in the renovation, I mean the colour of the walls, the type of flooring, the style of trim, your electrical and any plumbing fixtures.

Now depending on the size and scope of the renovation that you are hoping to have completed you probably won't be able to make all those decisions, but even if you can narrow your choices down to a couple for every category then you can finalize it when it is required to be ordered.

One of the biggest delays in completing a renovation project for people is waiting for them to make decisions. This actually slows down your renovation far more then you realize.

It doesn't sound like a lot of decisions to have to make, but what you don't realize is that once your renovation starts your contractor (if he's the right contractor) will be asking you questions and giving you options and asking you to make decisions on certain things and this will happen probably every day.

These decisions could be as follows;
  •  Upgrading existing insulation.
  • Fixing damaged areas of walls.
  • Changing windows.
  • Fixing found water infiltration.
  • Removing rodents and other unwanted pests.
  • Upgrading or repairing existing electrical.
  • Upgrading or repairing existing plumbing.
  • Adding more lighting in existing ceilings.
  • Changing plans because of existing structures that make the original plan impossible.
  • Adding sound proofing.
Those decisions come as the demo is started and happen up until the drywall has been installed. These decisions are usually not included in the original budget, so its not just the decision to do it or not but it is also a decision on how it will affect the final costs and if and when there should be cost cutting.

If you haven't made any of the main decisions at the start then these decisions which are decisions you have a very small amount of time to decide on will take priority and one day you will realize that your contractor is asking you where your plumbing fixtures are because they need to be installed shortly.

Another factor of making your decisions early is that usually your first thoughts on the project are the best and most closely resembling your original vision. Once you start though everyone will be giving you a piece of advice and sometimes they can muddy the waters so much that when you finally have your renovation project complete it looks nothing like what you wanted it to at the start.

If you want your renovation to run smoothly without a lot of delays then make sure that you make your decisions early and often in the project. You will then have a far better chance of ending up with something that you truly love.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.