How to Prevent Plumbing-Related Basement Floods

How to Prevent Plumbing-Related Basement Floods

Calhoun Plumbing

July 19, 2019

How can you stop basement flooding before it starts? You don’t have to wait for the water to seep in to protect your home against this potential plumbing problem. Take a look at the simple steps that can save you time, aggravation and money.

Prevent Frozen Pipes
Thirty-seven percent of frozen pipe problems happen in the basement, according to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS). An unheated, poorly heated, or uninsulated basement with exposed pipes makes freezing (during the winter months)areal possibility.

While frozen pipes may seem like a minor annoyance, when the water that’s trapped inside expands, the pipes can burst. Cracking and bursting results in a rush of water and subsequent flooding. Not only will you need to invest in a cleanup crew, but you’ll also need to pay a plumber to replace the broken pipes.

How can you prevent frozen pipes? Try these tips.

1. Add insulation. Insulate the pipers themselves as well as the entire basement area. Over-insulation can result in condensation. To avoid moisture problems, contact an expert to help you with insulation. A plumber can recommend/install a product that works with your pipes.

2. Let faucets drip. Even though a dripping faucet can cost you in water bills, the price is far less than you’ll pay to repair a flooded basement.

3. Keep vents open. If you have heater vents in the basement area, make sure they remain open.

4. Close doors. Keep doors to unheated areas, such as the garage, closed.

If your pipes do freeze but haven’t burst yet, contact a plumber immediately. The professionals have the expertise and equipment to correctly thaw your pipes, preventing a potential flood.

Replace Worn Pipes

Freezing isn’t the only cause of pipe rupture. An old, worn, or corroded pipe can crack and burst, flooding your basement. Unlike pipes that are hidden behind your walls, exposed basement pipes make it easy to see wear before problems progress too far.

Along with signs of exterior wear or damage, look for rusty-colored water or clogging. If you see these red flags, contact a plumber to inspect the pipes. Catching corrosion or minor cracks before they become major problems can save your plumbing system-and your basement.

Clean the Sewers

A sewage backup requires more than just a mop and bucket for cleanup. This potentially serious plumbing problem can result in bacteria and waste-filled liquids cover your home’s floor. Not only does this present a major odor issue, but the microorganisms can pose a health risk for your family.

Sewer backups have several causes, including aging pipes/sewage systems, combined pipelines, tree root growth, or clogs. Routine sewer inspection and cleaning (as needed) can prevent these problems, reducing the likelihood that your basement will flood.

Clean the Drains

Your home’s main sewer line isn’t the only part of your basement’s plumbing that can backup and cause serious flooding. Common household drains found in basements include wash tubs/sinks, washing machine outlet lines and bathroom fixtures (including sinks, toilets and showers or bathtubs). If you have any of these drains, consider a regular cleaning by a professional plumber.

Even though it’s tempting to plunge, snake, or chemically clean the drains yourself, a DIY approach can do more harm than good. You could damage your pipes or push the clog deeper down. Using chemical clog reducers also poses a health and safety risk when not used properly. If a lack of maintenance has already resulted in a clog, a plumber can clear the backup and keep the pipe cleaner in the future.

Do you need help preventing a plumbing-related basement flood? Contact Calhoun Plumbing for more information.