Living in our flood-prone region, you may already be aware that flooding is the most common type of natural disaster. Heavy rains and saturated soil can quickly overwhelm city sewers and cause blackwater to backflow into your home. Flooding in a home can also come from other sources, such as failed appliances and a burst water pipe. These are scenarios no one wants to endure—or never endure again. While there is no fail proof guarantee to prevent home flooding from natural disaster or water leak, there are measures you can take to better prepare yourself and your home. Keep reading for five pro tips to help prevent home flooding through the rainy seasons.
Test Your Sump Pump
Sump pumps are an essential appliance for homeowners in our flood-prone region. In addition to heavy rains as a common source for home flooding, water damage inside a home may come from an overflowing bathtub, a broken water pipe, a failed water heater, and a burst water hose to the clothes washing machine.
To test your sump pump, fill a five-gallon bucket with water and pour it into the sump pit. If the pump doesn’t power on and pump the water out of the sump pit, call your plumber to repair the sump pump or install a new sump pump. During the rainy seasons, test your sump pump once a month. Also, make sure you have a backup power source for the sump pump since flooding may take out the power to your home.
Sewer Backflow Preventer
A sewer backflow preventer is a device installed in your sewer line that prevents municipal sewer water from back flowing through your sewer drain pipe and into your home. Sewage back flowing most often occurs during and after heavy rain storms. The large amount of rain and debris overwhelms the sewer system, which forces sewage to back flow up through your home’s drains.
The best type of backflow preventer is an automatic flood gate valve that automatically closes with a tight seal when backflow is detected. Keep in mind that once a sewer backflow preventer device has activated and closed, keep your water usage to a minimum because the wastewater has nowhere to go!
Heavy rains can clog sewer lines and drains. Debris in the municipal sewer line can backflow and lodge in your sewer drain line. Low lying portions of drain pipe can cause obstructions too as waste stops flowing, accumulates, and blocks wastewater flow. It’s wise to call your plumber to clean out the drain line following very heavy storms and check to see if you have a sewer backflow preventer installed.
Drain lines can also deteriorate with age, whether the home is 20 years old or 70+ years old. Tree root infiltration can also damage drain lines. If you suspect problems with your drain line, ask your plumber to perform a non-invasive video pipe inspection.
Check Foundation For Cracks
Cracks in your home’s foundation can allow water infiltration. Water infiltration and the water damage it causes will continue until the foundation cracks are repaired. Sealing foundation cracks should be handled by an experienced professional. In addition to foundation cracks, it’s possible water is seeping through because your home wasn’t waterproofed properly. You can add sealer to interior basement walls, but you’ll get better results by waterproofing your home’s foundation.
Clear Gutters and Downspouts
When gutters become clogged, water can seep into roofing materials, exterior walls, and your home’s foundation. Clean your gutters a few times a year to prevent water flow blockages. Don’t climb ladders to access your gutters. There are water hose attachments available to make cleaning gutters easier. For the best and safest results, hire a licensed contractor to clean your home’s gutters or install gutter guards.
Home flooding is always a very real possibility in our area. Be prepared by calling the plumbing pros at MN Plumbing & Home Services to inspect your sump pump, water heater, clothes washer, and pipes. Contact us online or call us at (952) 469-8341 for all you plumbing needs!