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Print Posted 07/14/2017 in Category 1

The Day of the Flood that Backed the Sewer Line Into My House

The Day of the Flood that Backed the Sewer Line Into My House

It was a Tuesday; middle of the night. I was snug in my room, sleeping the night away. All of a sudden, I woke up to an awful smell. I sniffed around and stumbled my way down the stairs only to find that there was sewer water covering the entire living room floor. I couldn’t believe my eyes, but my nose sure confirmed it. What an awful thing to deal with, especially in the middle of the night. I had no idea what to do or who to call. I felt this tension overcome my whole body. I hadn’t been this stressed out in a very long time. I felt like I needed a life coach to help me out of this low spot. I wouldn’t wish this experience on my worst enemies. It’s crazy how events like this can come out of no where, so it is important to look for warning signs that can help you prevent a catastrophe like this from happening.

What to Do When Your House Floods

Having your house flood is a terrible experience for any homeowner. Floods can ruin floors, furniture, appliances, keepsakes, and be extremely expensive to clean up. When our home flooded, it left me scrambled and frantic, trying to figure out what my next step should be. If you have a senior aged loved one living at home by themselves, this can be especially scary. So what do you do if a flood occurs in your home? First off, it is a good idea to find out what the source of the flood is. Is it a leaking roof that needs repair? Is it pipes that are leaking or have busted? In this article, we will touch on the warning signs to look out for in different flooding scenarios.

House Flooded Due to Sewage Backup

House floods are bad enough. But when it’s due to a sewage backup, it’s like adding insult to injury. Most of the time, you will be able to tell if the flood was caused by a sewage backup if there is a foul odor. Foul is an understatement. So, what do you do in this situation? Firstly, turn of the power in your home. Water and electricity don’t mix too well, so you’ll want to do that first. Secondly, contact a plumber. They will know exactly what to do in this situation and can come straight to your house any time of the day, any day of the week. Thirdly, turn off all running water and make sure that you don’t flush any toilets. Make sure you know where to turn off the water before a scenario like this happens. The location where you turn off the main water supply to your home is typically located in an in-ground box near the exterior faucet. If all you need to turn off is one appliance, the shutoff valve is usually located behind washing machines, under sinks, and above water heaters. Be sure to look you can recognize these valves and research the specific brand so that you can properly shut it off.

How to Prevent a Flood Due to Sewage Backup

Taking precautionary step on preventing sewage backups is an important thing to do. You’ll want to get ahead of the situation and ensure that sewage backup doesn’t cause a flood in your home like it did in mine. There are many ways to prevent this horrible situation from happening to you.

  • Call a plumber.

Plumbers are well equipped to help you prevent a catastrophe from occurring in your home. Many plumbers do inspections, sometimes for free, to ensure that your plumbing systems are working correctly and efficiently. They are experts at ensuring that your home is safe from floods. This is the best way to prevent sewage backup.

  • Watch what you put down the drain.

This seems like an obvious one, but we often don’t put much thought into what goes down our drains. We put food, hair, grease, nail clippings, soap residue, plus many other things down the drain almost on a daily basis. Over time, all of these things can begin to clog up your system. Getting a drain plug is one of the best ways to go about preventing larger objects from going down your drain. It’s always best practice to consult with a plumber on what your system can and cannot handle.

Leaking Roof Caused Home to Flood

Another cause of house floods is a leaking roof. Leaking roofs can be a tricky thing to deal with since it is very difficult to find the source of the leak. Thankfully, there are many talented roofers who are equipped to determine the location of a leak and how to repair it so that no more leaks occur. Having a leaking roof is such a nightmare, so having experienced and knowledgeable people take care of it is wonderful. These roofers are able to work with both residential and commercial roofs and all types of roofs: metal, flat, shingled, TPO, etc. Expert roofers are here to help you with all of your roofing repair needs.

24 Hour Emergency Plumbing Service

Many plumbing companies offer 24 hour plumbing services that will allow you to contact them anytime of the day, seven days a week. This is a wonderful service that puts your mind at ease in knowing that you will be able to get a hold of somebody to solve any plumbing-related problems that arise. This is something that helped me when I was stuck in my sticky situation in the middle of the night. There is likely a plumber near you who utilizes this unique service. This service definitely came in handy when my plumbing emergency struck in the middle of the night.

When Should I Contact my Insurance Company After a Flood?

A flood happening in your home is bad enough. Now, you have to deal with the insurance company. But, when should you contact them? The answer to this: almost immediately after. Since you should contact them as soon as possible, it is good to have their contact information saved in your phone or, better yet, in your emergency bag. Be sure to inform your insurance provider of any repairs that you intend to make.

It is important to know for what you are covered, or not covered. Flood insurance is available for homeowners, so make sure you know whether or not you have that coverage. Many times, floods are not covered by regular insurance policies. If you have flood insurance and are covered, it depends on how much damage has occurred to your home. According to the National Flood Insurance Program, the average claim for floods in homes in the United States is $30,000. It is important to look over your insurance plan to see for what you are and aren’t covered. In some cases, your insurance company can deny you money that you are entitled to. In this case, you might want to contact a lawyer.

Sometimes, the flood occurs due to a leaking roof due to some external damage, such as hail. In this case there are roofers who will help deal with the insurance company, relieving the headache and stress accompanied with the confusing jargon that insurance companies try to throw at you. It was extremely important to me and my family that we found a trusted roofer who would do all of this for us. Luckily, we found one and they helped ease the entire insurance claim process.

Warning Signs that Your Plumbing System Might Need Repair or Replacement

  • Aging Home

If your home is 60 years or older, you’ll want to make it a yearly task to check exposed pipes for any signs of potential problems. Some things to look for are stains, discoloration, or flaking; all of which allude to corrosion. Of course, if you notice any of these things, contact a plumber immediately for an inspection.

  • Small Leaks

Also, take notice of leaks that are occurring, even if they are small and easy to fix. This could be a sign that the whole system is in need of repair or replacement, especially if the pipes are older.

  • Discolored Bath Water

Fill up your bathtub with water, then inspect the color. If the color is yellow or brownish, this indicates rust has occurred somewhere within your plumbing system. Rust in a plumbing system is a sign that your pipes are decaying and that significant repair or replacement is inevitable.

  • Unusual Sounds

Consistent loud sounds coming from your plumbing system is a big indicator of serious issues. Banging, creaking, or wobbling coming from a tub, sink, toilet, water heater, or anything else hooked up to plumbing are possibly occurring due to the clogging of different material within your system. These materials are obstructing the usual flow of water, causing friction.

  • Smelly Water

Unusual smells can often indicate, like discoloration, that rusting is occurring somewhere in your plumbing system. When you contact a plumber, be sure to mention all of the abnormal things you’ve noticed about your water.

Know the Material the Makes Up Your Plumbing System

Different plumbing materials have different shelf lives. This is why it is important to know the make of your pipes. Some of the most common supply pipes are made of the following material with the accompanying lifespan.

-    Brass: 80-100 years

-    Galvanized Steal: 80-100 years

-    Copper: 70-80 years

Some of the lifespans for drain lines are as follows:

-    PVC (Polyvinyl chloride): 25-40 years

-    Cast Iron: 80-100 years

Just because your pipes have reached these ages doesn’t necessarily mean that they need to be replaced. Well maintained pipes can sometimes last longer than those not maintained well or those in a location where there is hard water. It is good practice to perform yearly inspections on your pipes once they’ve reached this age so that you can have peace of mind in knowing that a professional has taken a look at them.

There are also some materials that need to be removed immediately. These include lead and polybutylene. Lead pipes were used in the early 1900s and can last for around 100 years; however, it can seep into your water system, cause major health problems (including lead poisoning). Polybutylene pipes were used in homes from the 1970s through the 1990s. They are extremely susceptible to breaking. There are definitely plumbers out there who can help you fix these problems, using a unique method known as trenchless sewer line repair.

Tankless Water Heater Solution

Traditional water heaters are often the cause of flooding in homes. They’re also very inefficient and waste an enormous amount of water on a daily basis. They heat water when you don’t need it and run out quickly when you do. Tankless water heaters are completely different. Tankless water heaters are basically hot water on demand. They only heat water when you need it, saving you a ton of money on your energy bill. One of the many beauties of this technology is the fact that it is not as bulky and takes up way less room, leaving you extra storage for important things. With a tankless water heater, you virtually eliminate that probability of it bursting and flooding your home. Tankless water heaters are more costly up-front than their traditional counterparts, but they will end up saving you money in the long run. Anywhere from water to electricity bill, you will definitely notice a difference once a tankless water heater is installed.

4 Tips to Prevent Your Drain from Becoming Clogged

Having a clogged drain is extremely annoying. It can close down an entire bathroom or kitchen for days on end. The following are some helpful tips and tricks to keeping your system clear and free of clogs:

1st Tip:

- Avoid putting substances down the drain that may leave it clogged.

In the kitchen, we as humans are prone to scrape food into the sink, thinking that the garbage disposal will do all of the work for us. Instead of this, it is good practice to make a habit of scraping all of your food into the trash can. This can prevent unwelcome clogging of your drains. Another thing that we do far too often is poor grease down the drain. Something that many people are unaware of is the fact that grease is only a liquid when it is hot. That means that once it begins to cool, it turns into a solid and adheres to the walls of the pipes, causing an unfortunate clog.

In our bathrooms, we tend to let a plethora of material that is damaging to our plumbing system go down the drain. A major kryptonite to drains, and probably most common in the bathroom is hair. Many of us shave in the shower or over the sink, leaving behind hair on the sink or shower surface. This hair can cause extreme clogging in your sink, so a good practice it to wipe up the hair before it has the chance to make its way to your drain.

2nd Tip:

- Don’t use cleaners that are chemical based.

Many people us chemical based cleaners to unclog drains. This is actually very damaging to pipes and can actually cause them to erode and weaken them to a point that they become clogged. Instead of pouring these harmful chemicals down the drain, pour hot water down once a week to ensure that your pipe system is running smoothly and efficiently. If you notice any abnormalities, contact a trusted plumber to get professional help. Plumbers have the tools and experience need to get down to the root of the problem.

3rd Tip:

- Purchase and install a water softener.

Hard water can clog your pipes very easily. A sign that you live in an area susceptible to hard water is noticing white, powdery residue around the sink in the kitchen or bathroom. This is due to minerals in the water such as magnesium, sodium, and calcium. But don’t worry, these minerals won’t harm your health, but they do make your plumbing system run a little slower. A water softener can help cut back on the hardness of the water. Hire an expert plumber to install one today.

4th Tip:

- Monitor the water pressure in your house.

We all like having high water pressure; it feels amazing coupled with hot water in the morning to help wake you up. But, high water pressure can actually cause damage to your plumbing system. It can cause your hardware, such as shower heads and faucets, to work harder, reducing their overall lifespan. The water pressure shouldn’t be higher than 80 psi. But how do I know what the water pressure is? Luckily, it’s a very simple thing to do. Purchase a hose gauge and attach it to the spigot outside; then, if the pressure is above 80 psi, purchase a pressure reducer. These run a little pricey, but it will save you money in the long run.

Flooding to HVAC System

Sometimes, water can find its way your HVAC system, causing damage. The air conditioning system is something that you don’t want to fail, especially in the middle of the hot Texas summer. I know how hot it got in my house when our HVAC system failed. It was not pleasant. Thankfully, there are so many trusted HVAC repair companies that are more than equipped to repair your HVAC system in a timely manner.

When the HVAC system fails, it brings a halt to your daily routine. Nothing seems to get accomplished. Unfortunately, our system failed during the heat of the summer, leaving us dripping with sweat. It was a truly miserable scenario.

Flood Caused by Slab Leak and the 5 Warning Signs to Look For

One of the most difficult things to detect is a slab leak. Slab leaks can go unnoticed for days, weeks on end. The cause of these leaks is associated with the corrosion of the pipes within your home foundation. A lot of people are unaware of the fact that pipes run through the foundation of a home; it is actually the cheapest and most effective way to get water into a house. The pipes become corroded due to the house settling on its foundation. It mainly occurs to older houses, like mine, but can also affect younger ones. It’s important that a homeowner is able to recognize the warning signs of a slab leak:

1. Hot Spots on Floor

If you walk around your house barefoot and notice that there are warm spots under certain spots of your flooring, there’s most likely a leak with your hot water line. You should contact a plumber immediately to come to your home for slab leak detection to find the source of the problem.

2. Foul Odor

If a slab leak has gone unnoticed and untreated for a while, there will be buildup of mold and mildew. Slab leaks are a haven for these to thrive in. The mold and mildew then creates a foul stench that will engulf the entire home.

3. Higher than Normal Water Bill

If you notice an increase in the water bill, but you’re using the same amount of water as you usually do, then you may have a slab leak. This is also true with the heating bill because the heating unit is working a lot harder to heat the water that is leaking out of your system.

4. Backup/Stoppage of Toilets, Sinks, Tubs

If your toilet, shower, sink, or tub stop working, this could be a sign that a line is fractured. This line could be within the foundation of your home, causing a slab leak.

5. Moving/Cracking Foundation

Water is an extremely powerful force. If there is a slab leak, it can cause the foundation of any home to shift and even crack. If you notice an increase in cracks in the floors or walls, this could be a major sign that there is a slab leak. It is important to act quickly before this becomes a huge, expensive problem.

If you notice any of these warning signs, it is important to contact a plumber immediately for 24 hour plumbing service. It is essential to catch it before it becomes a huge, costly problem. It would have been extremely helpful to me if I had known all of this before hand; I could have easily prevented a mess like this. Don’t delay; give yourself peace of mind before it costs you a load of money.

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