Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Your Home - Flooding & Sewer Backups

Sewer back up is not something you want to encounter. However if you do, this post will put you in the know, so that you can do what can best help you in a ‘slimy’ situation.

Two Sewer Systems, Shared Ownership

Two sewer systems serve most communities; the storm and sanitary sewer systems. The storm sewer system collects and conveys runoff and snow melt through the storm sewer pipe system and discharges this into natural watercourses. The sanitary sewer system collets and moves domestic/industrial wastewater to public treatment facilities and eventually discharges it into the water.

Municipalities own, operate and maintain both sewer systems up to the property boundary. Homeowners own, and are responsible for, the maintenance of the sewer lines within their properties. Who has responsibility is determined by where the services connect.

Why Does Flooding Occur?

Occasionally, intense rain or rapid snow melt may overwhelm the storm sewer lines and cause surface flooding. Water may backup into the pipes that connect each home to the system, and possibly into basements. You may also experience a sewer backup from blockages or breaks in the sanitary sewer system. Blockages occur because of excess grease and food poured down the kitchen sink. This material accumulates in pipes and restricts the flow causing a backup. Breaks in the underground pipes of either system may be due to faulty installation, pipe age, digging, or invading tree roots.

What Should You Do?

A backed up sewer line is never welcome. If flooding occurs there are specific steps you need to take action as soon as possible.

Contact your municipality to investigate, at usually no charge to the owner. It is always a good idea to determine that you will not be charged, just ask.

Take precautions not to touch water that may be contaminated by sewage. Health and safety is your prime concern.

Carefully clean and disinfect all affected items and surfaces.

Report the flooding to your insurance company right away. All claims, including those involving your municipality will usually be processed through your insurance carrier. It is your responsibility to understand what your insurance policy does and does not cover.

Report to your town or city in writing. The Clerk’s Office understands the insurance reporting process and apply the sewer blockage guidelines and backup policy.

Sewer Laterals, Areas Of Responsibility

Any damage, with the exception of grease and debris build-up, to the city-owned portion of the lines will be repaired by city as quickly as possible. It is up to the homeowner to hire a contractor to repair pipes within the property boundaries the home. Most municipalities usually have available a list of designated third –party service contractors who can clear and video your sewer connection at a fixed cost. Residents are free to choose a contractor of their choice. However, your municipal body reserves the right to accept the blockage location only from a authorized contractor.

If damage to a home occurs as the result of a sewer blockage in the public part of the system, the municipal office may offer to work with the homeowner’s insurance company to determine responsibility and compensation for the homeowner’ expenses.

Depending on the severity of a backup and the related damage, you may be required to disclose when selling your property.  For a confidential consultation, you may reach me via jagdeepsingh@trebnet.com

Your connection to GTA real estate.

Jagdeep Singh, B. Arch.

Real Estate Broker


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

History of Interest Rates

Bank of Canada was founded in 1935. Since then:

March 1935 to November 1956

The original key interest rate was the Bank Rate. This is the minimum rate of interest that the Bank of Canada charges on one-day loans to financial institutions. Between March 1935 and November 1956, the Bank Rate was fixed, set directly by the Bank.

November 1956 to June 1962

The Bank Rate became a floating rate, set at 25 basis points above the average yield on 3-month treasury bills at the federal government's weekly auction.

June 1962 to March 1980

The Bank Rate was again fixed, set directly by the Bank.

March 1980 to February 1996

The Bank Rate was returned to a floating rate, set at 25 basis points above the average yield on 3-month treasury bills at the federal government's weekly auction.

22 February 1996 to present

Since 1996 the Bank Rate has been set by the Bank at the top of its operating band for the overnight rate (see next column.) This provides a clearer indicator of monetary policy intentions, because the Bank's influence on the overnight rate is more direct than on 3-month treasury bill rates.

In December 2000, the Bank began setting the level of the Bank Rate—and with it, the target for the overnight rate—on eight fixed dates per year. For 2011, these dates are

18 January

1 March

12 April

31 May

19 July

7 September

25 October

6 December

For more information on latest mortgage rates visit www.mortgageinnovation.ca

Read Greater Toronto Area Real Estate Report: Just released at http://conta.cc/lEl1gr