If your home has flooded, your first concern is creating a safe environment. Stop the source of the flood, if possible. During and after the flood, keep children and pets out of the affected area. Once the flood is under control, remove all of the furniture and other items affected by the floodwaters.
After the initial cleanup is complete, you’ll need to check for hidden issues related to the flood. A plumber can help you determine if any serious damage was done or if there are any secondary problems related to the flood. Here’s what they’ll look for:
Flood water is dirty water and as it recedes, it leaves behind a residue that can clog drains. If flood water covered a drain, you’ll want to have it checked for residue. This residue is easily removed and clogs are usually simple to undo, as long as you deal with them shortly after the flood. Waiting can result in the further buildup and make the clog worse.
Pipes can be cracked or broken during a flood, especially if it was caused by a violent natural disaster, such as a hurricane. Unfortunately, small cracks can be difficult to identify until the problem worsens and you end up with another flood. A professional plumbing inspection can find small cracks and other damage to pipes and deal with the issue before it develops into a larger problem.
Underground pipes can also be affected by floodwaters because they are buried beneath over-saturated soil. It’s common for water and waste lines to be affected by a serious flood. In the days and weeks after the incident, watch for sinkholes that could indicate a collapsed pipe near your home.
If a flood was serious enough, it can damage the foundation of your home. Once the foundation shifts and cracks, it can damage the pipes under your home. If you’ve had foundation damage, you’ll need to have it repaired before repairing the pipes in your home.
Once your inspection is complete, you’ll want to thoroughly clean everything touched by floodwaters. Many people choose to replace their plumbing fixtures and anything else affected by floodwaters, even if these items are repairable.
Dealing with a flood and its aftermath can feel overwhelming. It helps to have the support of a professional who knows what to look for and who can help you avoid future problems.