Prepare your Plumbing for a Hurricane

on Wednesday, 13 September 2017. Posted in First Class HVAC Blog

There is no argument that a hurricane can cause devastating damage to your home and property. There are a number of steps you should take to protect your home before, during, and after a storm. To protect your home from additional flooding or to prevent your plumbing from being overwhelmed by the storm, consider the following steps.

Before the Storm

There are a number of things you can do to prevent damage to your HVAC unit and to prepare your family for the tumultuous storm. But, did you know you should also be preparing your plumbing for large storms?

Turn off main water valve

During flooding, especially as a result of a storm surge, contaminated water can enter your plumbing system. Flood water contains traces of animal feces, chemicals, car runoff, and even sewage. This contaminated water can make your family devastatingly sick. Don’t risk it. Shut off the main water valve before the storm hits or before you evacuate.

Make sure to stock up on bottle water and consider filling the bathtub with water before the storm hits. You can use bathtub water to flush the toilet and some light cleaning.

Clear debris around Sump Pump and drains

Sump Pumps clear water from around your home to prevent flood water from entering your home, basement, or crawl space. Ensure your sump pump is free of debris and has been recently serviced. You may even consider installing a battery backup to your pump to keep it running even during a power outage.

Other drains, including street sewers, can become clogged over time with grass clippings and other natural debris. Clear as much as you can away to keep the drain working. A sewer backup can cause unnecessary damage during a storm and result in costly repairs.

If you have time, check your home’s gutters too. Fasten them securely to your home then clear leaves and other debris. Point the gutters away from your home with extensions to help prevent roof leaks and flooding as well.

During the Storm

If you haven’t evacuated, check on your home’s plumbing during the storm. There may not be much you can do if flood waters rise, but you can prevent some damage.

Water Use

Be frugal with your water use. Keep the main water valve off, so you’ll need to use bottled water or other water you have prepared for cooking and cleaning. In an emergency, you can use the water from the water heater as well. Make sure to turn the gas and power off first.

Check Drains

Check on your sump pump periodically during the storm. As long as you have power, it should be working, but clogged drains can prevent it from pumping well. Clear debris from around drains inside your home. Never go outside during the storm. Downed powerlines can be life threatening. Your life is more important than flood damage.

After the Storm

Wait for the storm to pass completely before you venture outside. If there are downed powerlines or heavy winds, do not go outside.

Clear Debris from Sewer Drains

If it looks clear, begin clearing debris away from sewer drains. This will help the flood waters to recede faster. Be sure to check around your gutters and other drains near your home.

Turn the water main on

If there is no significant flooding, it may be safe to turn the water main back on. Don’t be too hasty though. There may be flooding other places in town. Check with the local utilities department or wait for the go ahead from city officials.

When you can turn the water main back on, check all the faucets and toilets for leaks. If you see any problems, such as discolored water or leaks, switch the water main off again and call a plumber.

Call a Plumber

To have your home’s plumbing inspected before or after a storm, call First Class HVAC. We offer a variety of plumbing services to ensure your home is safe and your plumbing is intact. Call 302-934-8900 to schedule your inspection or appointment today.

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