With the onset of hurricane season, it has become more important than ever to monitor, maintain, and manage issues that may arise in your homes plumbing. Many elements of a storm can cause issues to arise.
- High winds can cause debris to be volleyed around which can cause damage to outdoor piping by direct contact or even cause underground damage via overturned trees and root systems.
- Excessive rain can cause underground piping systems to become flooded, which in turn can flood homes without properly maintained drainage.
- City sewage systems can back up into homes when heavy rain occurs.
Although some issues that accompany powerful storms are unavoidable, many problems can be nipped in the bud if proper preparations are made.
Proactive Plumbing Storm Protection
- Place hard protective covering over pipes exposed outdoors. It is a much more lucrative investment to purchase some OSB boards and build a ‘cage’ around those pipes than to take a chance on them being damaged. Weigh the boards down with heavy items to keep them from being blown away by high winds.
- Double-check any sewer trap plugs to be certain they are fitted snugly on the sewer trap. You can replace ill-fitting plugs from plumbing supply companies. These are usually priced at less than twenty dollars.
- Backwater check valves can be installed on the street side of the house trap. This installation should be performed by professionals like those at Petri Plumbing and can prevent back up in your home.
- Shut off the main water valve or shut down the well pump if it is in an accessible location.
- Drain toilet tanks including the flush water.
- Check grates and covers to be sure they will be easy to get to after the storm in case of any possible repair requirements after the storm passes.
- Fill sinks and tubs with water for after the storm passes in case of power or plumbing failures.
During the Storm
It is just as important to follow a few guidelines during the storm if you will be at your residence.
- Use plumbing as little as possible. Although everything may have worked perfectly before the storm, there is no guarantee that it will afterwards.
- Keep an eye on basement sump pumps. Make sure it is not clogged with debris to allow for smooth pumping.
- Keep an eye on floor drains. Be sure they are not covered or obstructed in any manner.
- Keep a faucet located in the highest part of the house open to encourage airflow. Use the faucets at the lowest point in your home when necessary.
After the Storm
- Check storm drains to be sure they are flowing. Remove any debris from their general area.
- Remember that water stored in your homes plumbing systems will be safe for only a few days. After extended time, it will need to be sanitized before using for drinking or cooking. If you have any concerns about water safety always boil any water used for consumption.
- Clear gutters of debris to keep them from becoming over weighted and sustaining damage.
- Once given the all clear from your local government, turn your plumbing systems back on and be sure to run the water for a brief period before consuming.
Resource: Plumbing Companies in Charlotte NC