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How to Prevent Home Flooding

Heavy rains at the beginning of Spring are very common and have a reputation of being welcome so that they will bring flowers and beauty later on in Spring. One of the lesser talked about side effects of April showers is the effect that they have on pipes and overall plumbing. One of the biggest issues that come from heavy rains is an increase in pressure on your pipes.

Not only can this damage your plumbing, but it also can lead to flooding in your home. This article will discuss some of the ways heavy rain can impact your plumbing, and what you can do to protect your home!

Heavy Rains and High Water Pressure

heavy rainsJust by the nature of the seasons, there is going to be a lot of rain at the beginning of Spring. Depending on the amount and how saturated your ground already is, the influx of rain is sure to lead to increased water pressure on your plumbing system, mainly your pipes.

Water pipes are essentially designed for certain levels of water pressure. If you exceed that maximum pressure, the very structure of the pipe could be compromised and lead to cracks and bursts. High water pressure can cause erosion to your pipes, which will weaken them at critical points, allowing them to crack or burst.

High water pressure also damages the stoppers in your pipes over time which can mess with their ability to do their job properly and contributing to bursting pipes. High water pressure is also the main contributor to what is known as the water hammer effect. In a normally functioning pipe with proper water pressure, there are internal air chambers that will protect the pipe when the water is not flowing through it.

If you have high water pressure, these air chambers are negated and when water stops flowing, there is what is known as a “hammer” effect that allows damages to multiple parts of your pipes. There are a few ways to avoid high water pressure. You can pick up a pressure gauge at most home improvement stores. This device should be attached to the faucet closest to your water main, and turn the water completely on. If you have readings below 80 psi, you are good. Anything above, and, you are in pressure danger zone.

There are some systems out there that are smart home water monitoring systems, which will monitor your homes plumbing from water pressure to flow to temperature. These systems will send alerts to your smartphone and can even shut your system down if it detects imminent danger. Remember, high water pressure can lead to home flooding. Paying attention and performing regular maintenance on your home can help you to avoid any expensive issues.

Saturated Grounds Allow for Pipe Movement

During the beginning of Spring, the amount of heavy precipitation can soften the ground around your home. Once the ground starts to absorb too much water, the soil loosens and shifts. That means anything in that dirt is now able to shift - including pipes.

If your underground pipes are suddenly not being held by the temporarily malleable earth around it, the pipes are now able to also shift position. With the pressure from the water in the dirt that once held them steady, these pipes may now be pushed by that pressure. This can lead to cracks or bursts on the pipes.


They may crack due to the pressure of movement of the earth around them. The shifting of their position may cause joints or other areas of the pipe to receive more pressure than normal causing a crack or burst. The pipe itself may get pushed up against debris that damages it. Pipes in the ground are not meant to move, and though they allow for some flexibility, the majority that have increased pressure around them may not be able to handle it.

Please note that if you know of a crack or burst in your pipe, or suspect one, the best thing to do is turn off the main water, and call in the professionals. This is not something you should attempt to fix yourself.

Shifting Foundations Can Increase Pressure

homes crackHydrostatic pressure. That is the technical term for the water pressure in the ground around your home’s foundation. Though it is hard for anyone who has seen concrete to believe, water will and does get through it, and this can eventually lead to major flooding issues in your home.

The water pressure in the soil around your house is very high, and will help the water to push its way in. The groundwater hydrostatic pressure is often tied to the rain you get. The rainier the season, the more pressure - so at the beginning of Spring this pressure is high.

As the pressure grows and the water pushes against the foundation to get in, this can cause your foundation to start to shift. If that happens, the ground will react and the shifting becomes more noticeable and intense. If left unchecked, the damage to your home’s foundation can become more severe.

The more pressure on the foundation, the more likely it will crack or buckle and this will allow the water to stop seeping into your home and rush in, causing home flooding. Even the seepage can accumulate to flood levels if left to its own devices. If you notice seeping or standing water in your basement, close to the walls, it is an issue you will want to look into. If it appears to be coming in through the walls, you will want to do something to relieve the pressure around your home's foundation.

Call Apple Valley Plumbing Company for Trusted Services

Providing plumbing services in Apple Valley, MN for seven years, Apple Valley Plumbing Company prides itself on good quality work, from the first phone call to the final product. High-quality equipment will be used in a plan they draw up with you every step of the way. They will treat you like you are a neighborhood friend - because to them, you are!

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