Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 by Jacques Bouchard
There are worse things that can happen to your home than a serious plumbing failure -- but there aren't many. When a pipe or other plumbing feature bursts, you may have an unlimited quantity of pressurized water flowing into your home.
Immediately, floodwater can completely destroy computers, electronics, books, photographs, furniture, and countless other personal items. Within 24-48 hours, mold may also begin to grow on water-damaged items, wallboard, carpet, insulation, and other personal items. If allowed to continue unchecked, this can lead to enormous repair costs!
If you could make a few small purchases that would significantly decrease the chances of this happening, wouldn't you do so? If your property and personal items are worth protecting, we recommend these three simple, inexpensive upgrades:
1. Install New, Heavy-Duty Washer Hoses
More often than not, homeowners have light-duty washer hoses installed. These black, flimsy hoses are designed to handle the 50psi of pressure they're under for periods of time only. If you're not turning your water off each time you're done with your wash, then you're using these hoses beyond their design parameters.
What's At Risk: Once these hoses burst open, they can send up to 500 gallons of water flowing into your basement each hour! If you don't come home for several hours, this can become extremely serious – we've even seen basements flooded up to the windows!
2. Install A Battery Backup Sump Pump
If you have a sump pump system installed in your home, you know (possibly all too well) that that pump is the only thing standing between you and a flooded basement. And, unfortunately, like all things mechanical, it's doomed to eventual breakdown.
A battery backup system has multiple functions in a wet basement. Yes, it can kick on when there's a power outage, but it's also a second line of defense if the primary pump clogs, overheats, has a faulty float switch, or experiences a mechanical failure. It'll also be there during those torrential downpours, when the water volume entering the system is too much for your primary system.
What's At Risk: When a basement is flooding, it's no longer usable space in your home. Flooding will damage and/or destroy nearly everything stored there, including your washer, drier, furnace, and other appliances. Compared to these losses, the installation of a reliable backup pump is a very small investment.
3. Protect Yourself Against Water Heater Failure
Water heaters aren't made to life forever. Over the course of the life of your home, there can be many tank-type water heaters. Typically, a system will last for about seven years before breaking down.
Since water heaters refill automatically when empty, the flooding never stops when one fails. Installing a water alarm near the water heater is a great way to ensure a fast alert when a failure occurs. A talented waterproofer can even tie your water heater into a perimeter drainage system – so any flooding water is directed to your sump pump.
What's At Risk: That depends on where your water heater is located. If the system is located upstairs and has to leak through your floor before collecting in a basement or crawl space, you could be looking at some serious water damage – particularly if the leak persists for several weeks before noticed. In a crawl space, water heaters can leak for months before it's discovered – creating a damp environment that can lead to rotting joists and girders, and even structural damage. In more extreme flooding cases, this water can build up to several feet before it's noticed.
This article provided by Mr. Plumber Buffalo – serving New York in plumbing and emergency plumbing needs. We specialize in basement waterproofing in Buffalo, NY, and other surrounding areas. To schedule an appointment with our specialists, contact us by phone or e-mail today!