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Tis' the Season... For Home Flooding

April showers bring May flowers...and, for some homeowners, excessive home flooding. It makes sense that heavy spring storms can lead to flooded yards, but what does that mean for a home’s plumbing and foundation? Read on to learn how heavy rains can lead to home flooding, what homeowners can do to protect their homes against it, and when it’s time to call a professional for help.

The Unavoidable Truth About Heavy Rains

heavy rains There is obviously nothing to be done to prevent storms--heavy rains will eventually fall, no matter what. Because of this, most home builders will grade the property lot to direct rainwater away from the home during storms.

If a home’s lot is not graded properly, though, or if the storm is an especially heavy one, the rain will collect and pool. As it soaks into the ground, the soil loosens up and begins to shift, which can lead to the home flooding in a number of different ways.

Shifting and saturated soil can cause pipes to burst, or foundations to shift and crack; both of which can lead to home flooding. This can be a scary problem for homeowners to face, but with quick identification of the problem and swift action, it doesn’t have to be.

How Can Heavy Rains Cause Underground Pipe Damage?

When shifting soil moves during and after heavy rains, it changes where it is putting pressure on anything buried within it, including underground pipes. This is especially noticeable after a dry spell when the ground and soil previously had time to harden. As the soil becomes saturated, it gets heavier and can end up collecting over a specific part of an underground pipe.

The extra weight and pressure can cause the pipe to burst. This allows the surrounding soil and other debris to enter the pipe, which can contaminate the water and clog the plumbing. And while debris enters the pipe, water escapes, leading to a loss in water pressure.


Because of this, homeowners can tell if they have underground pipe damage if there is a loss in water pressure, or the water is discolored or gritty after a major storm. If a homeowner suspects an underground pipe has burst, they should call a plumber to locate and repair or replace the broken pipe as soon as possible.

Can It Also Impact Your Home’s Foundation?

homes cracks Similar to the pressure it puts on underground pipes, saturated soil around a home’s foundation can shift and cause cracks in a home or building’s foundation called slab leaks. These cracks not only allow moisture, mold, and pests into the home’s foundation or basement but also heavy rainwaters and flooding.

For crawl spaces and basements below ground level, this is an especially common problem, that can be further worsened by burst pipes. Many homes are equipped with a sump pump to alleviate home flooding caused by a foundation shift.

As part of their regular home maintenance schedule, homeowners should regularly test the sump pump to ensure it is working. Finding out the sump pump doesn’t work during a flood is a terrible feeling. If the sump pump is broken, a professional plumber can repair or replace it.

About All Purpose Plumbing

All Purpose Plumbing offers fast and trustworthy service to residents and business owners in Tacoma and surrounding areas. All of their plumbing experts are licensed, and undergo extensive training to make sure they are able to deliver on their satisfaction guarantee. For whatever services you need including burst pipe repairs, repiping, and slab repairs, you can always trust their experts.