Caring for Clogged Exterior Drains

If your area has experienced heavy rains or flooding as the result of melting after a large snowfall, you should be aware that your outdoor drains and French drains can become clogged. This can lead to water backing up into your home and damaging your house and belongings. If your region is at risk for flooding or prone to heavy rainfall, here are some steps that you should take in order to protect your home.

1. Check your sump pump to make sure that it is functioning properly. Make sure that there is no debris that could clog it and that it is discharging water the way that it should. You can verify that it is working properly by pouring some water into the sump pump pit. The pump should kick on, empty the water from the pit, and shut off again. If the pump does not discharge the water or runs continuously, you should call a plumber to have it repaired.

2. If your sump pump pit fills with water and the pump comes on often, it would be wise to have a battery back-up installed for the pump. If the electricity were to fail, your pump would not function, which could result in flooding. Don’t have a sump pump in your basement at all? You should seriously consider having one installed. It can protect your home from water damage and save you a lot of headaches and money in the long run.

3. Install a flood alarm. A flood alarm is an inexpensive device that can alert you to flooding, much like a smoke alarm alerts you to a fire. A flood alarm should be installed in the basement or in any other area that is prone to flooding, such as a laundry room or near a water heater. Often, flood alarms are placed near a sump pump to alert the residents to a sump pump failure. In the event that water is present, an audible alarm will sound. This gives residents the opportunity to react before the water level deepens.

4. If you store valuable or irreplaceable items in your basement or any other area that is prone to flooding, move them to a safer location. Consider installing shelving in the basement, and putting valuable items on higher shelves. This will keep those items from getting wet if your water heater leaks or sump pit overflows.

5. Clean your gutters and downspouts periodically. They can become clogged with leaves, twigs, ice, and other debris, and this can prevent water from draining properly. Make sure that the gutters and downspouts are clear so that water can drain through them easily.

6. Clear drainage areas, culverts, and street drains of debris, as well. Just like your gutters, these drainage areas can become clogged and prevent water from draining properly.

7. If you anticipate that there may be flooding due to an impending weather situation, disconnect electric appliances in your basement or other flood-prone areas. This should include washers, dryers, space heaters, and fans. If there is deep water present or the water is near the electrical outlet, stay away. Attempting to disconnect a power cord in this situation could result in electrocution.

Taking these steps can help to protect your home and belongings from damage in the event of flooding. If you experience flooding, contact Scott English Plumbing. We can help you to repair the damage and get your home plumbing system back in working order right away. Call Scott English Plumbing for assistance today.