Hir­ing a home in­spec­tor makes sense

Winnipeg Free Press - Section F - - HOMES -

home will be float­ing away on an imag­i­nary un­der­ground stream, you should hire some­one to look at the is­sue first-hand. While you may find an ex­pe­ri­enced plumber or con­trac­tor who can check the sump-pump op­er­a­tion and ease your mind some­what, that may not the best place to start. Hir­ing an ex­pe­ri­enced reg­is­tered home in­spec­tor will give you di­rect in­for­ma­tion about your per­ceived prob­lem in your own home.

For me to ad­dress your ques­tion more ac­cu­rately, I would have to look at the home, lo­ca­tion, soil con­di­tions and other fac­tors to prop­erly know whether you have an ab­nor­mal amount of wa­ter drain­ing from your weep­ing tile into your sump, or not. Hav­ing said that, the fre­quency of op­er­a­tion you are de­scrib­ing is cer­tainly not ab­nor­mal. To have it run that much in the win­ter may be a lit­tle un­usual, but that de­pends on whether the weep­ing tile is be­low the frost line, how deep your foun­da­tion is, and how cold it is. I com­mend you for im­prov­ing the land­scap­ing and grad­ing around your home, but any­thing more may be an over­re­ac­tion.

Ex­ces­sive mois­ture in the soil around a home can cause se­ri­ous is­sues, but that is pre­cisely why a weep­ing tile and sump pit sys­tem is in­stalled. If there is a lot of soil mois­ture, this must be col­lected by this crit­i­cal sys­tem, so that it can be re­dis­tributed above grade and pre­vent seep­age and soil pres­sure is­sues in your foun­da­tion. The fre­quency of op­er­a­tion you de­scribe is cer­tainly not ex­ces­sive and may only serve to sug­gest that the sys­tem is work­ing well, as de­signed.

The ques­tion you have posed about a back-up pump is well thought-out and worth ad­dress­ing, by it­self. It does make sense to have a sec­ond sump pump in­stalled in case of a fail­ure of the main pump. The type that may be the most pru­dent will be a small pump that runs off a large 12-volt au­to­mo­tive or ma­rine bat­tery. This is a good idea in case of a power out­age, par­tic­u­larly dur­ing heavy sum­mer storms. That is when there will be the max­i­mum amount of mois­ture drain­ing into the sump, and when you may need the se­condary emer­gency pump to en­gage. Con­nect­ing the bat­tery up to an on-de­mand trickle charger, plugged into a reg­u­lar du­plex re­cep­ta­cle, should en­sure the bat­tery is fully charged and ready when needed. I’m not sure what a UPS is, but fur­ther re­search by you may de­ter­mine whether that is ac­cept­able, also.

Ide­ally, hir­ing a reg­is­tered home in­spec­tor to in­spect your home prior to pur­chase may have an­swered your ques­tions in ad­vance, but there are is­sues that do arise after pos­ses­sion that can eas­ily be ad­dressed in a post-pos­ses­sion in­spec­tion. Con­sult­ing a pro­fes­sional home in­spec­tor to in­spect one or more sys­tems in your home to de­ter­mine if they are op­er­at­ing prop­erly, or just to ex­plain the proper func­tion to you in per­son, makes sense. To find such an in­di­vid­ual in your area, check out the Cana­dian As­so­ci­a­tion of Home In­spec­tors web­site at www.cahpi.ca, and click on the map for reg­is­tered home in­spec­tors in your home prov­ince. Ari Marantz is the owner of Trained Eye Home In­spec­tion Ltd. and the past pres­i­dent of the Cana­dian As­so­ci­a­tion of Home & Prop­erty In­spec­tors — Man­i­toba (cahpi.mb.ca). Ques­tions can be emailed to the ad­dress be­low. Ari can be reached at 204-291-5358 or via his web­site at trained­eye.ca.

POST­MEDIA NET­WORK INC.

Home in­spec­tors are like fam­ily doc­tors — they look for the ma­jor is­sues and re­fer clients to spe­cial­ized pro­fes­sion­als when red flags are spot­ted.

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