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How to Prepare Plumbing for Hurricanes

In south Florida, we are no stranger to hurricanes and the damage they leave behind. Some people choose to evacuate, and some people decide to ride it out in their homes. Regardless of what type of person you are, there are several precautions you should take to prepare your residential plumbing for hurricane season.

  1. Clear Drains, Gutters, & Spouts

Manually freeing drains, gutters, and spouts from current debris will allow water to flow properly. This will decrease the chances of flooding. A home’s foundation is better protected when water cannot collect in specific spots around the house.

2. Turn off Main Water Valve

This is the easiest way to prevent contaminating your water supply. Plumbing is kept clear and anything unwanted is kept out. The valve is typically found in the basement or in a utility space along an external facing wall and will have a knob. Twist the knob to the off position. If a hurricane causes structural damage to active water pipes while you are away, the damage will be more significant.

3. Secure Water Heater

Anchoring down your water heater and shutting off the gas / electricity to it are great safety practices. It creates a tank of drinkable water for you and your family and releases any extra buildup of pressure created by flooding.

4. Check Sump Pump

If you don’t have a sump pump, consider installing one. Clear it of any debris and ensure that you have a battery backup in case your house loses electricity. A properly working sump pump will minimize the amount of damage caused by flooding. The sump pump is typically located in the basement within a small pit. It pumps excess water that comes through the surrounding saturated soil or other means away from the house.

5. Inspect Immediately After

As soon as the storm has passed, and it is safe to return home or venture outside, inspect your home and its plumbing. Check to see that the gutters are secured and flowing properly, look for leaks or cracks in your pipes and walls, and ensure that your water is clean. If it is contaminated, please be sure to treat the water before using it.

If you need help preparing your home or there is damage to your plumbing system, give Rapid-Rooter a call at 877-202-6874.

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