Severe storms can negatively affect your plumbing system. When rains are heavy and there is flooding, pipes can break, drains and gutters can clog up, and the cost of cleaning or replacing them can be very high. You should always make sure that your plumbing is working properly, and that you are prepared in the case of a severe storm in your area.
Ways Rain can Affect Plumbing and Pipes
When there is a heavy storm coming, be sure to review the list below to see what how the plumbing could be affected.
Blocked drains and pipes
Rainwater is not clean water because it can collect debris and other waste from storms. The waste can flow into the pipes, causing blockage or overflow. Even worse, it is something non-flushable like tree roots, it could result in leaks or cracks. When the pipes are blocked or clogged, the plumbing system can get backed up. If you notice that you cannot get access to water from the faucet like before or notice water coming back up in your toilet bowl, your pipes could be blocked.
Increased pressure on pipes
Floods, rainwater, and mud coming from a storm can all increase the pressure on the pipes. Pipes are more likely to break when they are under high pressure. Modern piping systems are specifically built to withstand the pressure, but if your home foundation and piping systems are older, make sure to check the plumbing system to make sure it is working properly.
Shifting grounds causing pipes to shift
Once the ground softens due to a large amount of rain, it can cause the pipes buried in the soil to shift. When pipes are shifted to areas they shouldn’t be in, it creates more issues with the plumbing system. This shifting then exerts more pressure on the pipes after the ground hardens again. Similar to the situation above, it can lead to leaks or ruptures.
Overworked sump pumps
Sump pumps are built to keep water away from the foundation or the basement of your property. Having a sump pump run constantly adds wear and tear to the sump pump and shortens its lifespan. It could also mean that your pipework has some leakage. Sump pumps can be overworked, especially when there is a lot of water coming into the property. When a sump pump is overworked, it also adds the risk of it being overheated.
How to Prevent Plumbing Issues from Storms
Here are some ways you can prepare your plumbing for a severe storm.
Be aware of storms and flash floods and prepare for them
One way to tell if there is a storm coming is to look at the sky. If you notice a dark sky and windy conditions, that may be a sign of a coming storm. Check your local news for updates and follow the proper instructions in case that evacuation or sheltering is needed.
Always check all gutters and storm drains prior to a storm
Gutters and storm drains are located outside your home, and they help to ensure that your home does not flood. It is crucially important that they are not clogged up with leaves or other debris as that can prevent them from working properly and cause damage to your home. To make sure that gutters and storm drains are always working properly and are protecting your home, you should clean them regularly. If you live in an area prone to storms, you should clean them before the storm season and after every storm. This helps ensure that they are working, attached properly, and are not rusted. If your gutters are rusted and need replacing, you can do this yourself or if you notice that they are extremely damaged and need replacement, make sure to call a professional to do so.
Your sump pump should always work
If flooding is common in your area, you need to make sure that your sump pump is always working properly. A sump pump ensures that extra water from your drains gets pumped away from your property. If it is not checked regularly and it doesn’t function during a storm, you are at a risk for flooding in your home which can be costly. You should always make sure that you check your sump pump regularly. A cost of replacing or fixing a sump pump is a lot less than having to deal with the damage of a flooded home.
Your septic system and sewage drains should be checked regularly
If your home has a septic system, you need to check it regularly to avoid backups. Heavy rains can cause septic systems to overflow which can be costly to fix. If you live in an area that is prone to storms, you should have septic inspections done by professionals prior to the storm season. If your home uses a city sewer system, make sure to check that there is nothing covering the drain of your sewer and that there are no blockages.
Know where your main water valve is and how to shut it off
You should be aware of where the main water valve is in your home and how to shut it off in case of an emergency water situation such as flooding. The main water valve controls all the water in your home. During a severe storm, it can ensure that no excess water gets into your home if there is flooding outside.
Check for hidden leaks and flooding
Heavy rains can cause your pipes to burst or be blocked and your sump pump can break down. Therefore, you should check all areas of your home for hidden leaks and flooding after a heavy storm. If you have gutters that are blocked, they can cause your roof to leak and make your walls and crawl spaces wet. If your pipes burst or your sump pump breaks, you can have flooding in your basement. Always make sure to check all areas of your home for small leaks and water damage after a big storm. If you come across any areas that flooded, make sure to dehumidify the area and get it dried out to prevent mold growth.
Burst pipes due to heavy soil
Rainfall causes the soil to become mud and the increased the weight can cause leaks and burst pipes. Piping was created to withstand these conditions, however, if you have an older system, you could get a leak, or a pipe can burst. Make sure to check the ground for any heavy saturation near piping after a storm. Sometimes the ground will shift which is a sign of burst piping. Once the wet weather is gone, keep checking for visible indentations in the soil that are wet which can be a sign of burst or damaged pipes.
Dirty tap water
When there is heavy rainfall, the pressure in the pipes goes up and the ground shifts which can cause cracks and breaks. If you notice debris, dirt, or discoloration coming out of your faucets after a heavy storm, make sure to shut off your water and call a professional plumbing company for help. If you leave this problem unattended, the pipes will clog which can further and more costly damage.
Experiencing Storm or Water Damage?
Has your home or business been affected by a storm, and you need water damage restoration services?
ServiceMaster by Replacements provides water damage cleanup services for homes and businesses in Neptune, NJ. We offer residential and commercial water extraction services in Union, NJ and the Neptune, NJ area.
Our experienced technicians arrive promptly after your call to assess the extent of water damage. We use advanced water extraction and drying equipment to eliminate excess moisture and thoroughly dry the affected areas. We remove and replace damaged materials, like carpets, drywall, and wood floors. Our specialists utilize a proven hot water extraction method to deep clean the carpet fibers, revitalizing the entire carpet. The result is a noticeable improvement in the condition of the carpet.
Give us a call us at (732) 842-6917 for the list of our services.