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FLOOD DAMAGE POINTERS – Common Questions & Answers

Aug. 01, 2013
You never know when you’ll have to deal with flooding conditions.  Due to the extensive damage and danger flooding poses to your home, it’s best to be prepared.  Local company, Thornton & Grooms, has provided a list of common questions and some known solutions to issues residents may experience.

Q: When or if the city sewer backs up again, can I protect my home?
A: There are some options to minimize your risk.  Some common solutions are an in-line sewer back-up control valve and back-up sump pumps (either battery or water powered).  Many customers also choose to install a flood alarm that calls up to three phone numbers to alert the recipient when water is rising.

Q: How do I know my pipe is clear of debris from the flood?
A: This is pretty simple.  We insert a camera into the pipe. All drainage systems are designed to drain towards the main sewer line. Anything that comes up should go back down. If your drain seems sluggish or you have concerns, most professional plumbers have a camera that can inspect your sewer and verify its current operation.

Q: Is it possible that my “weep” tile (the drain piping around the perimeter of your home) has “sewage” in it?
A:
It is possible as many of the older weep tile drain systems are connected to the main sewer.  Oftentimes, access to this drain system is limited, but it is possible to wash the debris out by creating access points and using specialty equipment.

Q: I have a sump pump and I’m worried that debris is in the pit, pump, or piping.  Should I be?
A:
Possibly.  Standard sump pumps are not rated to handle sewage or debris.  The area should be inspected and thoroughly cleaned if needed.

Q: My furnace and water heater were submerged in water.  Are they safe to use after being cleaned?
A:
Manufacturers of furnaces and water heaters are very clear in their language; a flood damaged furnace or water heater needs to be replaced. It can be considered water damaged when there is enough water to touch the electric controls of a system, burners on the water heater, the motor on the furnace or extreme humidity for prolonged periods of time. This written information is available from all manufacturers. They wave all liability on future repairs, damages, etc. if this protocol isn’t followed.  If you are being told something different than this, you may want to research this or ask for a 2nd opinion.

Q: What about my air conditioner?
A:
In most situations the air conditioner isn’t affected by a basement flood.  If there were power failures, brown outs, or spikes occurring during the storm, it would be wise to have the electrical components of the air conditioner system evaluated.  The same holds true for all electronic devices. 

For more information, contact Thornton & Grooms online or at (248) 430-7108.
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Thornton & Grooms
24565 Hallwood Ct
Farmington Hills, MI 48335
(248) 644-7810
MI Plumbing Lic. #: 8106666
MI Contractors Lic. #: 7100232
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