Three Types of Pipe Damage Caused by FloodingWhen your couch is floating in your front yard, and you’re scrambling to save the dry clothes in the top of your dresser, the last thing you’re thinking about is if your underground piping is damaged. But once the waters recede, it’s important to remember to check out your plumbing. Floods, and even heavy rains, can cause the following problems with your pipes:
- Clogged Drains: Flood waters can cause dirt and debris to settle into outdoor piping. If this happens, those clogs can cause your indoor plumbing to back up, causing wastewater to overflow from sinks and toilets.
- Cracks and Breaks: Sitting water caused by heavy rain sinks into the ground, causing saturation. This saturated soil gets heavy—and can weigh on your underground piping, causing cracks and breaks that leak water and sewage into the ground.
- A Shifted Foundation: The force of flood waters, combined with saturated soil, can cause the foundation of your home to shift. This can be a real problem for the piping that comes up through your foundation and into your home, because as the foundation shifts, the piping inside of it will too, moving away from your appliances, and causing cracks and breaks.
The Eight Warning Signs of Underground Plumbing DamageThere is nothing more frustrating than turning on the faucet to find you have no water pressure, or worse, no water at all. Sometimes, though, pipe damage from flooding can be elusive, not showing any signs at all for weeks. But, there are ways to tell if you have damaged or broken underground plumbing. Some things to look for are:
- Bubbling and Whistling Noises: Broken or dented piping will make noises when either air can’t escape sewer lines or the line becomes too small for water to pass through.
- Bad Smells: A persistent foul aroma in your home may be a sign that a pipe is backed up or broken, signaling that sewage is not moving to sewer lines as it is should be.
- Sink Holes: A sinkhole in your yard can indicate an area where the piping has been damaged and the ground has become saturated with wastewater.
- Damp Drywall: Wet areas on drywall or ceilings are indicators that a pipe is leaking or broken.
- Persistent Clogs: Slow flushing toilets, or repeated clogs you just can’t figure out, may indicate damage to piping.
- No Water: Low pressure, or no water at all, from faucets and other appliances that use water, indicates broken plumbing.
- Poor Water Quality: Discolored or pungent-smelling water is a sign of piping corrosion or leakage, and contaminated water.
- High Water Bill: A water bill that is higher than normal could possibly indicate a leak or break in underground piping that is otherwise undetectable.