Is your home’s or a building’s plumbing required for hurricane preparation? Surprisingly, many people forget to prepare for and after a hurricane by paying attention to their home’s plumbing system. Yet, proactive maintenance and timely repairs can safeguard your home, possessions, and, most crucially, your loved ones.
For the safety of your family and to avoid hefty repair costs later on, our expert plumbers have provided a list of things you should do to prepare your plumbing for pre and post-hurricane seasons.
We have provided a guide to essential plumbing systems before and after hurricane preparation.
Taking proactive measures to set up your plumbing system before a storm can greatly reduce the risk of damage. Here are some hurricane readiness measures to help protect your plumbing system from the approaching severe weather:
Familiarize yourself with the location of the main water shut-off valve in your home as a part of your hurricane preparation. If you need to evacuate or if the storm gets severe, turn off the main water supply. This will prevent contaminated water from entering your home if lines break or become compromised.
Anchor any exposed pipes to prevent them from breaking due to strong winds or flying debris. Cover outdoor faucets with foam insulators or use protective wraps to shield them from the elements.
Remove leaves, twigs, and other debris from your gutters and drains. This will help rainwater flow easily, preventing backups and overflows that could cause water damage, a crucial step in hurricane preparation.
If you live in a flood-prone area, consider installing a sump pump. This device will help to remove excess water from basements and crawl spaces. Ensure it’s in working order and consider a battery backup, as power outages are common during hurricanes.
Ensure that all sewer lines have functioning backwater valves. These valves prevent floodwater from backing up into your home. If you already have these valves, inspect and clean them to ensure they function correctly.
Secure your water heater to wall studs to prevent it from moving or toppling over during the storm. This will prevent potential gas leaks or water damage, a crucial aspect of hurricane preparation.
For your home’s safety and functionality after the storm, it is crucial to check the plumbing system’s integrity. Here are some post-hurricane preparation guidelines to help you inspect your plumbing system and take care of any potential problems that might have developed because of the storm:
Once it’s safe to return or move around, visually inspect all exposed pipes, faucets, and hose bibs for any visible damage. Look for signs of leaks or cracks.
Before using them, flush toilets to ensure they are draining properly. If there’s any backup or slow draining, there might be an issue with the sewer line.
Check for any signs of water damage or leaks. Ensure the pilot light (for gas heaters) is still on. If you turned off its power source before the storm, ensure everything is dry before turning it back on as part of your post hurricane preparation.
If you turned off the main water valve before evacuating, turn it back on slowly and check for any issues.
If you have a septic system, inspect it for any signs of damage or flooding. Flooding can damage the tank or the drain field. It’s advisable to have a professional inspect the system if you suspect any damage.
Hurricanes can cause water lines to be contaminated with sewage or other harmful substances. Be on the lookout for any advisories from local authorities regarding water safety as part of your post hurricane preparation. Boil tap water or use bottled water until you receive confirmation that the water is safe for consumption.
If you have installed a sump pump, check to see if it’s working effectively post-hurricane. Remove any debris that may have accumulated and ensure it’s draining properly.
If you notice any severe damage or are unsure about the state of your plumbing, seek the assistance of a professional plumber. They can provide a thorough inspection and address any necessary repairs.
While we can’t control the weather, we can control how well-prepared our homes are to withstand its force. By ensuring that your plumbing system is properly maintained before and diligently checked after a hurricane, you can minimize potential damages, ensuring the safety and functionality of your home. Remember, the key is preparation and prompt action for hurricane readiness.
For an all-encompassing Hurricane Preparedness Checklist, including what to include in your supply kit, how to plan for an evacuation, and how to test your hurricane knowledge, check out this free guide from FEMA.
If you’re in need of any plumbing maintenance to better prepare your home for hurricane season, give Vossler Plumbing a call at 346-712-0050 or request an estimate here.
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