Monthly Archives: July 2013


Rain is coming. Are you ready?

posted in Sustainable Renovation, Trouble shooting & problem solving

Annie's basement flood

sewer back-up into basement
Photo Credit: Anne Blayney

The recent ‘100 year flood’ in Toronto is a good reminder of the damage water can do and how quickly damage can happen. In the days after the flood, the news and Twitter were filled with flood stories documenting the amount of dirty, smelly work involved in cleaning up basements that filled with water and sewage. It is impossible to stop all damage due to water but there are steps you can take to reduce the possibility of water creeping, seeping and flooding into you home. Surface water and run-off water can work its way through the foundation. Ground water can come up through the concrete floor. Sewage and storm water can back up through floor drains and plumbing fixtures. Rain water can also work its way through roofs, windows, flashings and walls. In a major storm situation, all of these can come into play. Continue reading


Shocking facts about saving electricity

posted in Sustainable Renovation

hydro towersElectricity is an odd thing. It is all around us but you rarely see it. You can see the results it produces for us every day. It is something that would be so hard to live without but it is also something we take so much for granted. Most people don’t give electricity a second thought until either the power goes out or when they see their monthly bill from their friendly neighbourhood electrical company.

I believe I think about electricity a little more than most people do. I don’t think I’m an electrical geek but I like to look at the historical daily usage numbers I receive with my electrical bill and compare them to my present bill. My household daily usage is fairly small at around 5.5 kWh/day in the summer and 8 kWh/day in the winter so a small change is quite noticeable to me. This past month I got a little bit of a jolt because my usage was quite a bit higher than my historical usage. It got me wondering about what was happening differently in the house. I narrowed down the culprit to the dehumidifier running in the basement. It has been very humid summer and so it has been running much more than usual. Continue reading