Hurricanes pose a significant threat to the plumbing system in your home. To prepare your house for a hurricane there are several steps you can take to limit plumbing-related issues during and after a hurricane.
Prepare Before the hurricane
- Shut off the main water supply to the house. First, make sure you fill up any water storage containers you may have. Just before the storm it is a good idea to turn off the main water supply to your house. This way if your home is damaged in the storm and pipes are broken you do not have to worry about water bills or finding and turning off the valve during the storm. Flooding in your area could also cause the water system to be contaminated. Turning off the valve prevents any possible contaminated water from entering your home. If there are no issues after the storm, simply turn the valve back on.
- Inspect and secure outdoor fixtures. Clean out gutters, downspouts and drains that will handle rain and flood waters to prepare them for an influx of water. Secure any loose items like garden hoses to prevent their loss or any damage caused by them slamming into the house as the high winds blow. A garden hose attached to a house could be turned into a whip in hurricane force winds and repeatedly beat on your house.
- Clear your drains. Have your inside drains cleaned out in advance so if you do find your home flooding, the drains will more quickly and efficiently help funnel the water out of the house, reducing damage. For help with this check out, Signs of Clogged Drains
- Install backflow prevention devices. If you are in a flood prone area, we recommend installing backflow prevention devices. These will help prevent your home from being used to contaminate the water supply in your area, by preventing any contaminants from utilizing your plumbing to access the main water pipes.
- Keep emergency repair supplies on hand. Stock up on pipe or fittings which are used by your home and some basic tools to help you make repairs or apply temporary repairs to your plumbing, until a licensed plumber can get to you and effect repairs.
- Evacuate if necessary. Prioritize you and your family’s safety and evacuate if necessary. Damage to your home can be repaired. Do not risk your life to protect it. Stay informed and follow the local authority’s instructions.
To find evacuation routes for to DriveTexas.org
Other helpful links include:
US Department of Homeland Security: Ready.org
Texas Department of State Health Services: TexasReady.gov
American Red Cross: RedCross.org
After the hurricane
- Inspect your plumbing system. When the hurricane is over and you are safe to return home, check your pipes and plumbing fixtures for leaks, cracks, or signs of damage to them.
- Turn the water supply back on. If you turned the water off and no damage was visible to the plumbing system, slowly turn the water back on. Monitor your plumbing for leaks that may have been too small to see or obscured by walls or ceilings. If your home flooded or if the local authorities have confirmed contamination of the water supply, it is a good idea to have your water tested. Be sure not to drink any contaminated water.
- Test your drains. Run water through all the drains in your home, checking to see if any drains became clogged during the storm. If you notice any slow-draining fixtures or back-ups, contact a plumber to help clean out any debris that may have found its way into your pipes.
- Contact a plumber. If your house or plumbing system received considerable damage, it may be best to contact a plumber to assess the home and ensure the safety and integrity of the plumbing system in your home. If you are able to make a DIY temporary fix to a plumbing issue we recommend letting the plumber know when they arrive so they can inspect the work and let you know if it will stand the test of time.
Plumbing is very important, and its proper function is to keep you and your family safe from viruses and diseases while supplying safe water. A natural disaster like a hurricane can jeopardize these systems. Taking these steps will help mitigate the problems a hurricane can cause to you, your home and your neighbors’ homes. If you have any questions or concerns consult with a professional plumber to address your concerns. We, here at JD Precision Plumbing Services, would be more than happy to put your mind at ease.