Hurricanes are incredible forces of nature that can do as little as throw some tree branches into your lawn or as much as destroying your entire neighborhood. For folks surviving and thriving on the southern East Coast of the U.S., hurricanes and their disastrous effects have become an all too increasingly common occurrence. The hurricane “season”, the period from mid-summer to late fall, is when hurricanes continually form in the Atlantic and do incredible amounts of damage to the people and places living on the Atlantic coast of the U.S. As an individual living there during hurricane season, you hear the news reports and maybe do some emergency shopping, but the options are generally to hunker down or evacuate. Regardless of which one it is, when a hurricane rolls up, your house and its systems are at the hurricane’s mercy.
While you might not be able to stop the damage a hurricane can cause on your home, there are some things you might want to consider — some things you might have forgotten about in all the commotion and important thoughts that come with an impending hurricane. One of those things is your plumbing system. Your plumbing system is probably not very high on your priority list when flooding and 70-mph winds are coming your way, but maybe it should be. It at least deserves some thought for preparing for any future hurricane, and this blog will give you some plumbing aspects to consider when the next “Sandy” or “Irma” or “Harvey” rolls through.
How a Hurricane Can Affect Your Plumbing
Your water and sewer lines are below ground, which might make you think that they are safe from the gale-force winds and the flooding that might occur up on the surface. But it’s important to consider two things; that your plumbing system is not completely isolated from the surface, and even a couple of feet of solid earth might not stop a determined hurricane. Consider these factors about your home and your plumbing system to determine what steps you might need to take when you hear the next news report.
Tree roots can cause problems with your plumbing system even without any sort of storm on the horizon, but a hurricane will exacerbate all of those potential issues. Tree roots growing underground can obstruct your pipes and limit the quality of your water flow, and even break through your pipes. The powerful winds that come with hurricanes can even rip the trees with their roots straight out of the ground, which could tear up and destroy your water and sewer lines as well. Inspect your property for nearby sizable trees and exposed roots or schedule an appointment with a plumbing professional to detect potentially problematic tree roots.
Gutters and Curbs
The heavy rains that inherently come with a hurricane can cause some major damage if your home’s drainage systems are properly ready. Check out your gutter and outer drainage systems and make sure they are securely fastened to the house, and completely free of debris. If the heavy rains come and your gutter is clogged or has fallen off your house completely, the water buildup will not be properly funneled out and will allow your yard and your home to be flooded much more easily. Also, consider your roadside curb or the swales around your property, and make sure they are clear of debris as well, as the high amounts of water will flood those first.
Sometimes your sink drains will drain the liquid in them somewhat slowly. It still flows down, but at a greatly reduced pace compared to normal. This is something to tackle regardless of impending extreme weather but is especially important when your drains and sewer lines are going to be flooded with high levels of water themselves. Overloaded drains that have to deal with an overload of water could lead to water being backed up into your home or could lead to a possible backflow of sewage. This is an especially important factor to consider if you have to evacuate because if your home is still standing after, the water backups might lead to some pretty gross damage done to the inside of your home.
Other Water Features
The massive influx of water that comes from a hurricane, whether falling from the sky or building up on the surface, could obviously have some unwanted effects on other water features near and around your home. Septic tanks should be pumped out before hurricane season starts, as hurricane rains can flood your drain field and cause backups in your septic system. For folks with swimming pools, make sure your pool deck has effective draining capabilities, as water buildup near your swimming pool could damage pool systems as well as increase the odds for flooding.
Hurricane Plumbing Preparation with First Choice
There is not much you can do to stop a hurricane. As one of the most powerful forces that Mother Nature has to offer, when a hurricane rolls through, hoping and praying can at times be just as effective as any preparation you might be able to do. But it is never a guarantee of total destruction, so you always have to prepare for what the other side will look like. Taking the steps to prepare your plumbing is just one of the many steps you can take when a hurricane is coming. And First Choice Plumbing Services is here to help with that. We service the Myrtle Beach and surrounding areas with the highest quality plumbing and HVAC services that South Carolina has to offer. Don’t wait for the next news report and named-storm; prepare your plumbing systems with First Choice today. Call now!