Can Too Much Rain Cause Plumbing Problems?
Torrential rains can cause lots of problems and wreak havoc in your home and beyond. Flooding, power outages, and road closure are just some of the problems experienced after heavy rainfalls. It is of utmost importance to prepare ahead of time for such eventualities. However, even with the best preparation, external forces like too much rain can put a lot of pressure on your home’s plumbing system.
Fortunately, the municipal sewer systems usually take the excess water away from your residential property. However, if the downpour is too heavy for your home or sewer system to handle, the outcome can be devastating. The following are ways through which too much rainfall may cause plumbing issues in your home and how you can manage them.
1. Increased Pressure on Pipes
In times of torrential rainfall, a lot of pressure can build up on your piping system. That usually happens when the sand or soil covering the pipes gets soaked up and becomes too heavy. The covering material’s weight can put a lot of pressure on your pipes, causing them to burst or crack.
Old galvanized steel pipes are especially vulnerable to this kind of pressure. If you notice water discoloration and loss of pressure from your taps after a heavy downpour, it could be a sign that your pipes may have burst or developed cracks.
If you suspect broken pipes, you should call your plumbing contractor before the damage causes bigger problems in your home. It is also advisable to replace old pipe fittings if you suspect that they may not withstand much pressure during wet seasons.
2. Shifting Ground
Some types of soils cannot hold much water. When these soils get soaked substantially, the ground may start shifting, causing blockages or broken pipes. In case your home is in an area that is prone to mudslides, it would be best to plant some trees around your property.
The trees’ roots will assist in holding the ground together, reducing cases of landslides. Although the roots from your trees may cause damages to your pipe system in the future, the benefits they offer outweigh the drawbacks.
Galvanized steel pipes are rigid and will break or get blocked even with minimal shifting in the ground. You should consider using PPR pipes, which are more flexible and durable. PPR pipes can withstand small shifts of the ground since they are not rigid and can last longer than steel pipes.
3. Blocked or Overflowing Gutters
Another area where too much rain causes plumbing problems is in the gutters. Gutters can fill up with water and end up collapsing, causing structural damage to your home. Blockages and overflow in the gutters result from sticks, leaves, and other kinds of debris that find their way into the gutters.
As a preventative measure, ensure that you regularly check the gutter for leaves and any other kind of debris that can cause blockages. This task is critical during the fall, when most trees shed their leaves.
4. Septic Tank Flooding
If you usually collect your property’s wastewater into a septic tank, heavy rains may cause flooding issues that require urgent attention. A flooded septic system can cause many problems, including contaminating your home environment and water system, posing a health risk.
To avoid such eventualities, ensure that your septic tank is built in an area with good drainage. However, if your septic tank has flooded or filled up, you may need to contract an exhauster to have the septic tank drained out. Additionally, always ensure that you direct the runoff water from all your drains away from your septic tank’s location.
5. Basement Flooding
Basement flooding can be a significant issue if your home is on uneven ground and has poor drainage. It can cause many problems, including weakening your home’s foundation, rotting of wood, ruining fixtures and furniture, and even mold growth.
If you live in a home that has a basement that floods quite often, you may need to install a sump pump to minimize the damages caused by the floods when it rains. If you already have one installed, you need to check it regularly to ensure that it is in proper working condition.
You may also need to improve your basement walls’ water-resistance qualities by applying thick color coats or using silicone sealers. You can also consider updating your doors and windows to make them watertight. That will prevent floodwater from the outside from getting access to your home’s basement.
6. Blocked Drains
Blocks drains are one of the most prevalent plumbing problems caused by heavy rains. Heavy rainfall brings with it dirt, leaves, and small branches that cause blockages to your drains. Because drains are not designed to collect too much water and the accompanying debris and dirt, you may experience some overflow and backup in your gutter drains.
To help you manage drain blockages when it rains, always check to see that your drains are free from any form of debris and blockages before the onset of the rainy season. An awful smell coming from your drains could be an indicator that they are blocked and require unclogging.
7. Sewer Backup
During heavy rains, the municipal sewer system connected to your sewer line can be overwhelmed with too much water. The pressure built up in the sewer lines may cause the sewer to back up and sometimes overflow into homes. Other possible causes of sewer backups could be blockages and clogs, leading to pressure accumulation in the sewer lines.
Sewer backup flooding can be a big problem for your home because it is largely out of your control. It also poses a serious health hazard. However, you can have your plumber install some check valves in your residential property to help prevent sewer water from flowing back to your home.
Homeowners need to watch out for potential plumbing issues during the rainy seasons. There are many ways that heavy rainfall can cause plumbing problems, and this list only captures some of the main ones. Nobody can adequately prepare for bad weather. However, it is advisable to put some controls to minimize the potential losses resulting from plumbing-related problems caused by heavy rainfall.
The good news is that some control measures may not cost you much, and you may also implement them yourself without needing a professional. For example, you can clear leaves, sticks, and any other debris from your gutters and drain system. Crystal Blue Plumbing Heating and Air is a company that offers all the specialized help you may need for all your plumbing needs.
With our over 40 years of experience helping homeowners and commercial property owners, you can rest assured that you’ll get the best plumbing services customized to meet your specific needs. Besides plumbing system installations and maintenance, we are also specialists in installing and maintaining all heating solutions, air conditioning systems, and HVAC units. We also provide duct replacement & repair services, air quality services, humidification services, commercial projects, and ventilation services.
If you live in Sacramento, CA, or the surrounding area and are looking for plumbing, heating, and air conditioning experts, please contact us at Crystal Blue Plumbing Heating and Air, and we will be glad to serve you.