What will happen to my property if it gets flooded?
Most of time, if something goes wrong with a drain it can be fixed quickly and efficiently, and it doesn’t cause too much damage to the property. However, there are often cases where the problems are ignored and left to grow in size and severity, and in the majority of these cases the result is flooding. You may have heard many horror stories from people whose homes have been damaged by flooding, and it is a very serious concern, so it is important to know what to do when it happens.
The most common cause of flooding from drainage systems is a burst pipe, or a collapsed drain. Not only do these problems damage the drainage system itself, but because the water in the drainage system is no longer contained properly it is left to flood the property. Drains that are particularly old and worn down are more vulnerable to collapsing, as there will be many faults with the drain that mean it cannot withstand the pressure both inside and out.
For instance, drains that are old and worn down are more likely to have cracks in them. Once there is a crack in the drain, it is weak and therefore susceptible to invasion either from rats or tree roots. This will only increase the severity of the situation until the drain cannot handle any more pressure and simply collapses. Now that the water has a way out, it will take it! In order to prevent this from happening, it is a good idea to regularly maintain your drains by taking care of what you wash away down the sinks or the toilets, as well as getting regular CCTV drain surveys to thoroughly inspect the quality of your drainage systems.
Flooding not only causes a large amount of damage to your property, it can pose a very serious health risk. The bacteria that is carried in the wastewater we wash away will quickly contaminate your home, and from there it can easily spread disease. To keep yourself and everyone who lives at your property safe from illness, you need to take careful steps once you find the flood.
Should you find yourself with an unexpected flood, the first thing to do is to isolate any electrical circuits by switching off the supply at the fuse box. It might seem like common sense, but it is a very important step. When water comes into contact with an electrical circuit the risk of electrocution is incredibly high.
Following that, you will need to call a professional drain engineer to drain the water from your home. Once the water is drained and cleared away, make sure that anything that may have come into contact with the wastewater is washed and treated with disinfectant to avoid further spreading of the bacteria found in the water. While you are clearing up, always wear rubber gloves in case you come across any sharp objects, and to avoid contaminating your hands with wastewater. Regularly wash your hands as an extra measure to avoid becoming ill. You may also find that you need to call an electrician if any of the electrical circuits or equipment have been flooded.
The number one way to prevent flooding is to avoid flushing away waste that should be thrown in the bin. Many people make the mistake of flushing food waste down the sinks, when in reality this is one of the main causes of blockages.
Food substances that are oily, greasy or fatty will easily stick to the walls of drains, causing obstructions meaning that the water cannot be passed through the pipe smoothly. Toilets can also become easily flooded when foreign objects are flushed away. Items such as nappies, baby wipes, and sanitary items are too big for the drains to handle, and the materials do not break down fast enough to be washed away easily, so they will very quickly block your toilet. The longer you continue to incorrectly dispose of waste, the bigger the buildup will get, and so the more severe that damage will be.