If you live on the east coast, you know that we’re no stranger to major storms this time of year. As of November 1, 2021, there were 21 named storms during the Atlantic hurricane season, seven of which were hurricanes.
While it might not be possible to prevent a hurricane, there are plenty of things homeowners can do before, during, and after a storm to prevent the amount of damage their home sustains.
Combating Hurricanes and Snowstorms this Winter
Steps to take before a storm hits.
First and foremost, you should always follow your town, city, and state guidelines. If you’re told to evacuate or take certain precautions, make sure to do so right away.
If you’re staying home, make sure to:
- Prepare your drainage system. The heavy rainfall brought on by storms can overwhelm your drains and gutters, causing them to work harder in order to prevent your home from flooding.
- Check your sump pump. If your home has a basement or is at a greater risk of flooding, you probably have a sump pump. Before the storm hits, make sure the pump is turning properly and free of any debris.
- Remove leaves and debris from your gutters. Lots of homeowners forget about their gutters, despite being an important part of their home. Before the rain starts, clear all of your gutters, downspouts, and drains so that water can flow where it’s supposed to — away from your house.
- Bring small outdoor items inside. Plants, flags, patio furniture, and kid’s toys should always be secured to the ground or brought inside. Not only can items left outside get blown away and lost during a storm, but they can also cause preventable damage if they blow into a car, the street, or a nearby house.
- Put important documents in a stormproof container. Passports, deeds, insurance information, etc. should all be put in a stormproof container in case of flooding.
Protect your home during a storm.
When the storm comes, make sure to:
- Turn off the main water pipe. Water contamination is a major problem. Open the tap furthest from the mainline so air can still get into the plumbing system.
- Turn your water heater off. To avoid pressure building on your plumbing system, you may want to turn your water heater off during the worst parts of the storm.
- Use water sparingly. Avoid taking long showers, flushing often, or doing laundry during a storm, since this can cause your sump pump to work harder.
The aftermath: Cleaning up after a storm.
Only leave your house once it’s safe to do so, since going out too soon could put your safety in jeopardy. Once the storm has passed, you should:
- Clear your gutters (again). There’s a good chance your gutters became filled with leaves, twigs, and other debris during the storm. Because more rainfall could follow, make sure they stay clean and operational.
- Keep an eye out for not-so-obvious plumbing problems. Some plumbing problems are obvious, like a burst pipe. However, not every plumbing problem results in pooling water. Keep an eye out for bubbles when you turn on the water or flush the toilet — this is a sign that air is trapped in your pipeline.
- Clean flood water right away. Even a mild flood can be a breeding ground for bacteria, mold, and mildew. If you experienced a flood, contact experts who can safely remove the water and clean your belongings.
For 30 years, VP's Plumbing, Heating & Air has been going above and beyond to provide homeowners quality plumbing and home renovation services in Westchester County and surrounding areas. From kitchens and bathrooms to bedrooms and living rooms, we’ve been helping people transform the look and feel of their home for decades.
To request an appointment with our skilled Westchester County team, call (914) 506-5752.