How to prepare for heavy rainfall, and what to check for after a storm
While the warmer summer months are a welcome change, the Adelaide region is also susceptible to heavy rain and storms towards the end of summer and into early autumn. While this can sometimes be predicted, unforeseen heavy rain and flash flooding can also occur without warning –but don’t fear, there are a few checks you can do to make sure you’re prepared, and your home’s plumbing can handle it just in case it starts bucketing down!
The rains are here!
Storms and heavy rain can cause flooding and significant damage to gutters, and without proper drainage underneath houses, the stability of foundations can also be compromised.
While seasonal cleaning of gutters and downpipes can definitely help, these gutters and pipes can also become blocked with debris that can cause damage to properties. Problems can range from outside flooding to objects and debris stuck in your plumbing, causing blockages in indoor drains, which can clog your system.
Luckily, there are some things you can do to best prepare and to doin the aftermath if heavy rain hits your home.
What to do to prepare:
- Keep gutters clear and the roof free of leaves and other debris. Regular cleaning of gutters and downpipes will mean you’re always prepared. Removing any build–up allows rain to movefreely and quickly down gutters and drainpipes, avoiding water flowing back under the roof.
- Trim any branches that may be hanging over buildings, cars, driveways, and roads to minimise damage if a storm hits with strong winds.
- Keep the area around your downpipes and drains clear to prevent leaves, dirt, and mud from being washed down the drain, causing blockages. This allows the water that hits the surface to drain away from your home and garden.
- Check that your gutters, roof, and building are in good condition and if any maintenance is needed. A small leak or even a loose roof tile can quickly become a problem and cause damage during a storm. Also, make sure you check windows, doors, and skylights.
Common problems post-storm to watch out for
Here are some common problems caused by heavy rain.
- Damaged or burst pipes –as rain hits the ground, the soil becomes soft, meaning that the ground can shift as both rocks and tree roots can move around, putting pressure on underground pipes, causing themto break.
- Clogged drains and pipes –after heavy rain, pipes and drains can get blocked –it’s a very common problem. Unfortunately, many residential pipes and drains aren’t built to withstand heavy rainfall and the pressure it brings. And, if not keptclean, they will block easily.
- Speaking of overflowing, flooding can also occur, caused not only by heavy rainfall but by a burst pipe. When rainwater pools and has nowhere to go, this puts pressure on your pipes and can cause them to crack or break, especially if they are old or damaged.
After the Storm
If you happen to be in an area where sudden heavy rain or a storm hit, there are some things to check on once the storm has passed.
It’s always recommended to check your pipes after a storm or heavy rainfall and call a professional plumber if you notice any damage –no matter how big or small. Minor damage can often lead to costly repairs if left, so be vigilant and check for anything that might have affected your plumbing and drainage systems. In addition to heavy rainfall, strong winds can also cause structural and property damage.
In case of the worst, before attempting a clean–up or repair, it can be worthwhile taking photos before starting to help with any insurance claims.
- Make a list of anyrepairs needed and items that may need replacing.
- Be aware of any electrical system after a storm. If you encounter any kind of water damage, make sure you contact a licensed electrician to carry out repairs before touching anything electrical.
- Look out for any signs of water damage in your ceilings –even a little section or patch of water damage can lead to significant problems developing down the track.
By doing regular checks, you are protecting your home as much as possible. Carrying out preventative plumbing maintenance can help reduce the extent of the damage affected by storms. It’s also worthwhile checking out our seasonal maintenance checklist, so you’re good to go when the seasons change.
If needed, don’t hesitate to call a plumber and contact us on 0488 097 697 for any questions or if you need anything inspected, including drains, so that you’re good to go next time it starts raining cats and dogs!