Plan Ahead and Protect Your Plumbing
Hurricane preparedness most often includes gathering nonperishable food items, flashlights and discussing emergency plans with your family. While personal safety comes first, it's also important to think about how your home - and plumbing - could be affected by storm season. Get insight on how to get prepared pre-storm as well as what to check on once the storm is past.
Prepare Your Plumbing Ahead of Time
- Prevent Clogs
Check all outdoor drains to ensure they are free of debris or any other material that could potentially block them. If a drain is blocked, it could be a serious issue if a storm brings a heavy amount of rain and potential flooding because the water will have nowhere to go.
- Turn Off Your Water Heater
If you are watching the path of a hurricane and anticipate your location will be one that is greatly affected, it's important to turn off your water heater. Leaving it on can produce added pressure on your plumbing system that it doesn't need.
- Protect Your Water
Your water source can quickly become contaminated after a hurricane, so consider turning off your main water pipe ahead of time. This involves an extra step of planning because you will need extra drinkable water, so respectfully stock up on an appropriate amount of water bottles or gallons for you and your family. Plan to fill all bathtubs and other containers for water that may be needed for washing or cleaning during the storm.
Where to Look for Damage After a Storm
Whether you evacuate for a hurricane or hunker down at home, the initial walkthrough to assess for damages after it passes can be overwhelming. To limit the stress, consider creating a list of specific areas in your home you want to check as a first priority, then move through the rest after. When it comes to your plumbing, here are the most tell-tale signs there is damage that must be addressed by a plumber:
- Gurgling Noises or Bubbles
Check each faucet and toilet in your house for both of these signs. Gurgling and bubbles both point to there being air trapped somewhere along the pipeline, which often means there is a blockage.
- Blocked Pipes
The clearest sign there is blockage in your pipes is slow running drains. This is one of the most common issues after a hurricane because it can result from debris running off the roof or into drainpipes. With high windspeeds and heavy rain, hurricanes often stir up any unsecured debris that can find their way to your pipes or gutters.
- Ruptured Pipes
Pipes can break both inside the home and outside. Internal pipe bursts are easiest to spot because you will notice dripping water or a puddle, depending on the severity. To check for broken pipes outside of your home, keep an eye out for sinkholes or standing water in your lawn. The overly saturated soil after a storm can cause the ground to shift which can create pressure on underground pipes, causing them to crack or rupture.
Hurricane season certainly has the potential to damage your plumbing system, but planning ahead and conducting preventative maintenance will help limit your worries. The David Gray team can help ensure your plumbing is in its best shape to weather any storms that come, all while maintaining social distancing and other health safely protocols. Call (904) 724-7211 for more information.