basement, flood, backup sump pump

The Backup Plan Your Basement Needs!

Amidst the news updates of COVID-19 across Ontario, there has been an increasing number of reports of flooding along the shores of Lake Huron and Lake Ontario. Homeowners have watched as rising water levels and rainstorms have damaged their properties both inside and out. We all know that floods can happen at any time of the year. The spring months can be particularly challenging, however, as rainstorms increase, adding to the already high water table caused by our typical Canadian winters. Since floods are the most expensive natural hazard in Ontario as they can significantly damage your home, it’s crucial that when the rains come and the power goes out, your home stays protected. 

What Causes Basements to Flood?

Basement flooding is one of the most common types of floods that can take place in your home. As floods are generally caused by melting snow, ice jams, high water levels and rainstorms, all of this extra water has to go somewhere. The GTA is particularly prone to flooding as there is less natural space for the water to go. As water typically collects at the lowest point, the basement is where it tends to go. 

You may believe that your home has been built to withstand flooding, but there are many ways that water can find it’s way inside. Groundwater can enter into the basement through cracks in the home’s foundation, or through walls, windows and doors that are at ground level. Extensive landscaping, run-off from higher points on your property, or an improper foundation drain or weeping tile system can also contribute to basement flooding. Even underground wastewater or stormwater pipes that have become clogged or overwhelmed can cause this excess water to find its new home in your basement. 

If you live in an older area and your home was built before the mid-1970s, your home may be at a higher risk of flooding as the original connections to weeping tiles, foundation drains, and downspouts may be connected directly to the wastewater system. This can overwhelm the system, causing flooding to occur. In 1975 when the first Ontario Building Code was introduced, stormwater systems were required in newer builds to give water another place to go. If you are living in an older home, ensure your wastewater and stormwater systems are operating as they should be. 

How Can You Protect Your Home?

While there are many ways that you can redirect water away from your home, a sump pump is an excellent way to remove excess water that has collected in the sump pump basin or pit. What happens, however, if your primary pump stops working or if you lose power to your home? 

A battery-operated backup sump pump acts as a secondary sump pump for your home. If the primary pump were to fail, a backup pump activates to remove excess water and prevent it from pooling. A battery-operated sump pump only engages when the primary pump has stopped working, whether its due to a lack of electricity or issues with the pump itself. 

At AtlasCare, we rely on pumps developed by Liberty Pumps to do the job due to their quality and leadership in the industry. Each pump we carry, whether it be the Liberty 441, or the Liberty 442 models which have the option for WiFi integration and real-time audible alerts, draw power from Interstate batteries. These batteries can last up to three days depending on how long the backup pump is working. 

The installation of a sump pump with a backup sump pump system is considered as well. Our team removes the old pump and installs the new pumps with the secondary pump placed higher than the primary one. We also install a new check valve to ensure that the entire system remains operational, rather than relying on existing elements of the system itself. We also inspect the discharge pipe and sump pump pit and ensure that all connections to your home’s piping system are secure. Finally, we ensure no issues are lurking within the pipes and that the entire system is running efficiently and quietly. 

As severe storms increase in frequency, and flooding continues to be a year-round concern, know that your home is always protected. If you are unsure if your home has a properly working stormwater and wastewater system and are looking to install a new sump pump with a battery-operated backup pump, let us help. We will safely inspect and advise you on what you need to keep your home protected all year round. Trust the experts, so that you can continue to have peace of mind in your home. 

Helpful Tip: If you are in an area that is prone to flooding, gain access to Ontario’s Flood Forecast


Improve Your Home’s Air Quality

For 88 years, AtlasCare has cared about the health of our customers’ homes, but it has never been more important than it is now. With quarantine and social distancing in place due to COVID-19, our homes are where we spend most of our time. Staying indoors can, without a doubt, affect our quality of life in many ways. Our home’s air quality plays a huge part in our physical and mental wellbeing, as well as how we experience our home on a day to day basis. Here are a few ways you can improve your air quality and ensure you have the cleanest air in your home.

HEPA Filter

With the season changing, the High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) Filter might be your best bet. A HEPA Filter is designed to eliminate very fine particles and is crucial in limiting the spread of airborne bacterial and viral organisms which could lead to infection. Because it is a mechanical filter that doesn’t use negative ions or ozone gas, there is also little risk of developing any side-effects like allergies or long-term respiratory illnesses such as asthma. However, it does not filter out gasses and odour molecules.

UV-C light

When you think of UltraViolet light, the first thought that might come to mind is skin cancer and harmful radiation. However, the effects of UV light vary according to wavelength. UV rays from the sun are composed of a combination of UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C rays which clean our environment naturally. The UV light with the shortest wavelength, which is therefore the most powerful, is UV-C. It can destroy microorganisms by scrambling their DNA. This makes it a very effective form of air purification, sterilization, and disinfection. UV lights are chemical-free and can kill and sterilize mold and bacteria that may be growing in your HVAC unit, which can be highly beneficial for people who are allergic to chemicals and dust.

Lennox PureAir System

Small air cleaners may be great for targeting specific rooms in your home, especially dusty ones, but they don’t address pollutants that are circulating through your entire home. The Lennox PureAir System is a filter that offers a solution to this. This system is designed to improve air quality throughout the whole house. Unlike most air purifying systems, the Lennox PureAir System cleans 3 types of air pollutants:

  • Airborne particles: pollen, dust, pet hair
  • Germs and bacteria
  • Chemical odours and vapours

This system also does not generate any ozone which eliminates the chances of lung irritation. Because of its carbon filtration, it also helps to reduce ozone generated by other sources that may be found in your home.

With COVID-19 still in action, taking precautions for your health is the best and safest way of keeping you and your loved ones protected. At AtlasCare, we care about our customers. If you’re unsure which filter you need for your home, give us a call. Our team of experts is always there when you need us!

Atlas Care employee in red uniform working on furnace in home

Ride-Along With Jonathan Gallant 

At AtlasCare, our team members put their hearts into everything they do. From our hardworking technicians to our talented customer service representatives and accountants, everyone at AtlasCare has a story. The Ride Along series aims to highlight our valued team members and share their unique stories. For our first ever Ride Along interview, we’re tagging along on a few plumbing service calls with Jonathan, a passionate AtlasCare plumber and proud father. 


Along the way to his first service call, Jonathan discusses the importance of transparency, why preventive plumbing is important and even shares a heartwarming story with a customer. Keep reading to get to know Jonathan! 


How long have you been at AtlasCare?


I started with AtlasCare in the middle of October of 2019 but, I’ve been in the plumbing industry since 2001.


Describe what your daily routine usually looks like.


Actually, my day starts the night before. Typically, I will inspect my truck just to make sure that it is stocked with the supplies that I need. In the morning, I log into my first call and then give the customer a call to let them know I am on my way. Next, I dispatch myself and head right there.


What has been your favourite project so far or an interesting story that you want to share?

I had an interesting story yesterday. I was performing a water shut off for a customer in Mississauga. She was an older lady turning 84 this year. She lost her husband back in the summertime and lost her mother about a year ago almost around this time of the month. 


She doesn’t have a lot of help. We happened to be sitting down and talking while we were finishing up the bill yesterday and she was talking about her mom and started crying and then I started crying and gave her a big hug. It doesn’t really relate to what I was doing on the job so much, but it was just a nice moment for two human beings. She wasn’t just seeing me as the plumber, she was seeing me as family because she was willing to open up and tell me about her life and struggles. In order to do that, you have to have the right people. You can’t have drones and you can’t have people who just wanna go there and work.


What makes AtlasCare so different from other companies, from your perspective?


I have always wanted to work for a company that has a good family base and offers support for its employees. One of the things that stood out to me is that AtlasCare truly cares about their employees. I’m a father and I’ve got a 4-year-old daughter and I have a tight pick-up schedule.  AtlasCare allows me to structure my schedule in the morning so I can take her to school and if I ever need to leave a little early, they certainly make accommodations for that as well. Even around Christmas, there were some days where they said “Hey, you’ve got the option. Do you wanna work today or do you wanna spend time with your family?” As an employee, I really appreciate that.


It’s about the culture of the company, even though we are a fairly large company. I mean, you’ve seen how many employees we have. From the furnace technicians to the plumbers and the admin staff, everybody has the same mindset, so it makes it very easy to come here and to fit in and to feel like you’re part of the team.


A big part of the value that AtlasCare provides is transparency with customers. 


We get that all the time. If you take a look at our reviews, the comments are usually something along the lines of “I couldn’t believe the service that we’ve received from AtlasCare whether it is from our heating division or plumbing division.” We offer consistent great service, so our customers appreciate it. For instance, our customers will usually say something along the lines of “They treated my home with respect. They’ve made me aware of what was going on. They explained everything to me step by step so that I knew as a homeowner what was going on. It’s not just somebody coming into my home doing something that I’m not sure of, at the cost of whatever it may be.” And I think that’s what makes the difference – if you don’t let the customer know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, then they don’t know or see the value for why you’re there.


How important are preventive measures when it comes to plumbing specifically?


As far as plumbing goes, some of the preventive measures are mainly focused around shut-offs and drains. The last thing somebody wants to deal with is a leaky faucet and discover that their shut-offs don’t work. Sometimes people don’t even know that they’ve got a running toilet! That’s why inspection and maintenance is so important. Instead of waiting until they’ve got a plumbing issue, homeowners need to be proactive. 


Be a part of the AtlasCare team 

From our quality service to our talented team and company culture, we care. To discover more about our unique culture, take a look at our culture book! Want to be a part of a talented team? Discover our current openings and apply today. Stay tuned for more Ride Along blogs with our awesome team!

AtlasCare wins Top Choice Award for Air Conditioning and Heating Company…again!

Top Choice Awards has just announced the 2020 winners! We are thrilled to announce that AtlasCare has won the Top Choice Award for Air Conditioning and Heating in the Greater Toronto Area for the second year in a row.

The Top Choice Awards recognize businesses that provide quality services, value and professionalism to customers. Winning the Top Choice Award is one of the most coveted endorsements a business can receive. AtlasCare is truly honoured to win again.

Since 1932, AtlasCare has taken care of our customers’ homes as if they’re our own, working around the clock, 7 days a week, to keep our customers comfortable. AtlasCare is always there when you need us and we offer the fastest emergency service in the GTA. We guarantee quality, transparency and exceptional service all the time. Winning the Top Choice Award is a testament to our unwavering dedication to the consistent pursuit of total customer satisfaction.

Winning the Top Choice Award transpired again this year because of the incredible work and dedication of our AtlasCare team members. We also want to thank our exceptional customers, partners and our community for voting for us as your Top Choice in the Air Conditioning and Heating category for 2020. Discover more about our services by visiting our website or contact one of our team members today.

How Our Business Gives Back to the Community – And You Can, Too

Since our start back in 1932, helping others has been an integral part of AtlasCare’s company culture. Whether it’s raising funds, spreading awareness or donating our time to a local cause, we’re always looking for ways to give something back to this community we call home.

Sometimes, we all get together to contribute as a team – but we also support individuals on our team who give back in their own way.

Here, we’d like to introduce you to a few of the efforts we’ve undertaken and organizations we’ve supported over the years. We hope that these stories can inspire you to do some good, too!


Care to Share Charity Program

Whether you’re a volunteer, a donor or a beneficiary, you can surely name at least one charity that has made a positive difference in your life.

There are literally thousands of charitable organizations doing important work in the Greater Toronto Area. As a local family-owned business, we have seen their impact on our communities first-hand.

Sadly, many of these organizations have urgent needs that are not being met. That’s why we started our Care to Share program.

Care to Share invites anyone in the community to tell us about a worthwhile charity and nominate them for a monetary donation. We revived the program in 2017 to celebrate our 85th anniversary. That December, AtlasCare made three cash donations totalling $8,500 to three worthwhile causes:

  1. Eagle’s Nest Association of Waterdown, which provides compassionate support and numerous services for local families in need.
  2. The Dale Ministries, which supports people experiencing poverty in Toronto’s Parkdale Community by providing free meals, drop-in programs and on-the-ground outreach.
  3. Scientists in School, which brings hands-on science and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) workshops to over 660,000 students from Kindergarten to Grade 8 each year.

We had the privilege of meeting representatives from each of these organizations at our offices in Oakville. There, AtlasCare President Michael Grochmal and CEO Roger Grochmal presented each organization with funds in support of their essential services!



Everyone has a unique skill or expertise they can put toward helping a worthy cause. We encourage our staff to get involved in the community hands-on, and we often get together to volunteer together!

Earlier this year, we spent a day at the Compass Food Bank in Mississauga. Our duct cleaning technicians cleaned the facility’s duct system top-to-bottom, while the rest of the team helped to organize and prepare meals. We were thrilled to donate our services so that Compass could have cleaner air and a smoother-running HVAC system. The Compass Food Bank is always looking for more volunteers and donations of food and household essentials, so you should give them a call if you’re in the area!

The AtlasCare team has also been long-time volunteers and supporters of the Oakville-based charity SafetyNet. SafetyNet provides a wide range of services for kids and families, including free bicycles, clothing and household items. They also offer tutoring and music lessons for children who don’t have access to these services otherwise. We love volunteering at the SafetyNet warehouse, and just about anyone who wants to pitch in for a few hours can help with sorting donations! If you happen to musically or academically inclined, you can also make a big impact as a volunteer tutor or music instructor.

Fundraising and Sponsorship

We’re eager participants in a variety of local fundraisers – especially when we can take part as a team! In 2017, Roger and Michael Grochmal participated in Ovarian Cancer Canada’s Walk of Hope to help raise funds towards improving the lives of people living with ovarian cancer.

Our success as an HVAC and home services company has also given us the ability to sponsor organizations in the community. This year, we had the privilege of supporting  Burlington Soccer Club (Go Bayhawks!) as a sponsor. AtlasCare is also the Title Sponsor of the annual Golf Fore MS Classic event – a fundraiser golf tournament in support of our local chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society of Canada.

The funds raised at Golf Fore MS go towards helping to achieve two very important missions: researching the cause and cure of MS while providing services for local people affected by MS. Last year, our local Peel-Dufferin Chapter of the MS Society contributed $55,000 towards MS research and provided close to $60,000 in support to individuals in our community (including purchasing 63 pieces of equipment like wheelchairs and lifts.)

MS is a cause very close to our heart. It has affected the Grochmal family personally, along with many other families in our community. Canada has one of the highest rates of MS in the world, affecting an estimated 1 in 385 people and over 77,000 Canadians overall.

AtlasCare continues to be a lead organizer, title sponsor and participant in the Golf Fore MS tournament. It’s a wonderful way to honour the memory of our loved ones while raising money to support those who still live with MS.

We hope you’ll join us at the 2019 Golf Fore MS Classic on Wednesday, September 25th! You can learn more about the event or register online right here.


Education and Mentorship

We believe technical excellence comes from a commitment to continuous learning, whether it’s discovering new products or simply a better way to work. We’re also eager to encourage and nurture the next generation of HVAC professionals – which is why AtlasCare proudly supports skills competitions at technical colleges and through Skills Ontario.

AtlasCare has been involved with Skills Canada for many years.  Dick Thomas, our VP of Sales (and part of AtlasCare for over 40 years!) serves as the Skills co-chair for HVAC. He, along with our HR Coordinator Catherine Brelik, also lend their insight to several college advisory boards to help ensure young people learn the skills they need to succeed in our industry.

Dick also invited a group of local Scouts to AtlasCare’s offices to learn about trades in the mechanical fields. During their visit, the scouts got to see the rewards of a career in the trades!

Discover More About Our Culture

We couldn’t possibly fit all of our community engagement into one blog post, but you can learn all about us in the AtlasCare Culture Book! Here, you can see even more photos and stories about the things we do here at AtlasCare. Give it a look, and feel free to contact us if you have any questions about our company.