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Heavy Rains Can Wreak Havoc on Your Plumbing System

In 2017, torrential rainstorms in Sacramento and the surrounding areas wreaked havoc on Northern California. These storms were part of an “atmospheric river” weather phenomenon that drew precipitation from the Pacific Ocean and brought the heaviest rain to parts of Northern California in a decade. This rain caused power outages, road closures, flooding, and evacuations.  They also placed a great deal of stress on many homeowners’ plumbing systems.

While we wish these storms were a one-time event, powerful storms are still causing flooding and emergencies in Sacramento in 2023. Though you can’t control the rain, you can prepare your plumbing system to handle flooding and blocked drains by knowing the main plumbing issues caused by rainstorms and how to solve them. 

Can Too Much Rain Cause Plumbing Problems?

Simply put, too much rain can cause multiple problems, as excess rain can stress your drainage systems and pipes. For example, rainstorms can cause broken pipes, toilets that won’t stop gurgling, and blocked drains. If your plumbing system isn’t prepared to handle the greater demands that heavy rain places on them, you may discover it’s plagued with problems in the aftermath of a wicked storm.

3 Plumbing Problems Caused By Rainstorms

Since rainstorms can cause plumbing problems, it’s important to know the main issues they cause and how you handle these issues after they occur. As you try to keep your plumbing system in the best shape possible, be on the lookout for these three problems after a heavy rainstorm.

1. Heavy Rain Can Cause Broken Pipes

Large rainfall can cause a ruptured pipe due to the ground shifting and putting pressure on the pipes that are located underground. When the ground becomes saturated with rainwater, it softens enough that shifting soil and rocks can strain or break your buried pipes. If pipes become crushed or cracked, dirt and debris can enter and clog things up, doing even more damage. 

If you discover discoloration, grit, or debris in the water coming from your faucets after a storm, you probably have broken underground pipes. A Bonney-certified premier plumber can locate the break and repair or replace it.

2. Sewage Overload: Clogged Pipes or Blocked Drains After Heavy Rain

Another common plumbing issue after heavy rainfall is a sewage overload that causes your pipes or drains to clog. When your pipes or drains are blocked after heavy rain, your entire plumbing system can back up and cause your home to flood. Heavy rain can also cause toilet backups, making it so you can’t use or flush your toilet.

What Causes Blocked Drains Outside? Why Do My Drains Back Up When It Rains?

Pipes and drains can become blocked after heavy rainstorms because of the immense amount of leaves, dirt, and debris that can build up and block them. Blocked drains during heavy storms are very common, as they are generally not designed to manage large volumes of water. Additionally, if the gutters have not been cleaned, the rain will also push any leaves and debris that the gutters hold into the drain creating a bigger blockage. 

Before your drains overflow, you’ll often hear gurgling drains after heavy rain, as too much water will be trying to flow down a clogged pipe. When there is an overflow of rainwater in gutters and downpipes, there’s a good chance there’s a blockage that needs to be cleared out. Blocked outside drains can cause flooding and damage your property, so it’s important to have a plumber clear them as soon as possible. 

Can Heavy Rain Cause Toilets to Back Up?

Alongside blocking your drains and potentially causing flooding, heavy rain can make toilets back up and spill sewage onto your bathroom floor. Typically, toilets connected to a septic tank overflow when rainwater fills the tank and prevents waste from entering it. This septic backup after heavy rain can damage your home and create a huge mess if it’s not taken care of quickly.

For homes connected to the city’s sewage system, heavy rain can enter through a cracked sewer pipe and cause your toilet or drains to overflow. Regardless of the cause, a toilet gurgling during heavy rain is a clear sign your sewage can’t handle the rain, and you’ll need immediate assistance from a plumber to prevent an overflow.

How to Fix Overflowing Toilets or Clogged Drains and Pipes

When you have drains blocked after heavy rain or an overflowing toilet, you’ll need a certified plumber to handle the issue. For example, a plumber can pump out your septic tank to stop it from overflowing or repair a tank that’s been damaged. They can also repair or replace damaged sewer pipes that are causing waste to overflow from your toilet. Additionally, a trained plumber can clear out any clogged drains or pipes filled with debris due to rain. 

3. Basement or Crawl Space Flooding from Heavy Rain

A flooded crawl space or basement can create a lot of problems in your home. Whether your crawl space or basement has taken on an abundance of water due to heavy rain, you’re dealing with broken pipes, your sewage system is backed up, or there’s water coming up from your basement drain after rain, the resulting standing water is a major problem that should be addressed. 

Failing to address the problem of a flooded basement or crawl space can permanently damage your home’s foundation. Standing water and excess moisture in a basement or crawl space can also create an attractive breeding ground for mold and even common crawl space pests like mice, rats, and termites. Over time, the cost of repairing your damaged home and the risks to you and your family’s health can really add up.

How to Fix Basement or Crawl Space Flooding From Heavy Rain

Since a flooded crawl space or basement can create several issues, you should have a trained plumber remove the water as soon as possible with either a wet vac or a sump pump. These are typically the most effective methods as they’re designed to efficiently suck up water and remove it from your home.

Once the water is removed, you’ll want to dry out the basement or crawl space thoroughly. After a plumber has pumped out the water, a significant amount of moisture will likely remain even after you have removed the puddles of water, meaning you shouldn’t let the space air dry. Instead, you’ll want to use a dehumidifier since it’s extremely effective at removing excess moisture from a damp crawl space or basement. By using a dehumidifier, you’ll drastically reduce the chances of mold or mildew development. 

You can also reduce the chance of basement or crawl space flooding by investing in sump pump installation services. When you have a sump pump installed in your home, the device will automatically pump and channel water away from your house’s foundation. A trained plumber can install the sump pump for you to ensure it’s put into operation correctly and will remove water efficiently.

Turn to Bonney for Plumbing Services in Sacramento After a Heavy Rain

When heavy rain hits, you need a plumbing expert you can trust. If you’re looking for a plumber near you in Sacramento or the surrounding areas to solve plumbing problems after heavy rain, you can trust Bonney’s team of plumbers. Our local Bonney plumbers are skilled and experienced in solving each of the issues listed above. If you suspect broken or clogged drains or pipes, or you’re experiencing continual flooding in your crawl space or basement, don’t worry, we’re on it!

Learn more about our plumbing services today. If you’re ready to schedule an appointment or have any questions, please contact us online or call us at 800-444-0551. You can also check out our coupons and financing services to ensure any services you receive from us fit your budget.