someone under an umbrella

Spring Into Action! Preventing Spring Plumbing Disasters

April Showers (Sometimes) Bring Home Plumbing Troubles

When it rains, it pours. This is especially true with spring flooding. While the pitter-patter of raindrops signals the start of warmer weather, it also should come as a warning sign to homeowners that there is potential for plumbing problems to arise around the home. 

Most homeowners think of flooding toilets and backed-up pipes when asked about plumbing emergencies. But, a wet spring can lead to hidden plumbing problems that begin outside the home. From saturated soil to flooding underground pipes, spring weather can pose a serious risk to a home's safety and integrity. Keep reading to discover how to identify, prevent, and handle common spring plumbing problems. 

Problem # 1: Saturated Soil

Most homeowners would be surprised to find out that soil has pores. Yes, pores. The pores of soil serve as a storage space for oxygen and water essential to plant and soil health.

Saturated soil refers to soil pores filled with water. Once the pores are filled with water, the integrity of the soil becomes compromised. But why is this a problem for a home's plumbing?

  • Saturated soil can leak groundwater into a well, introducing hazardous materials into a home's drinking water.
  • Saturated soil can also reduce the efficiency of a septic tank to treat water.
  • Additionally, saturated soil poses a risk to the foundation and underground pipes of a home. The excess water puts pressure on these materials, risking cracks of foundations and damage to pipes.

So, how does someone locate, prevent, and fix groundwater issues? Proper irrigation of water. If a home has standing water frequently around it, there's an irrigation issue. 

Homeowners should have a plumbing professional come out to ensure that groundwater is being directed away properly from a home, reducing the build-up of water in the soil pores. Additionally, reducing soil exposure to elements by using plants, mulch, or other organic matter can help prevent saturation from developing. 

Problem # 2: Foundation and Slab Leaks

a flooded foundation
When one plumbing problem arises, another can quickly follow. This is especially true if saturated soil has been an issue for a home. Saturated soil frequently contributes to foundation and slab leaks, which weaken a home's structure and stability. 

Foundation and slab leaks usually develop due to soil shifting around the foundation. Cracks develop, and in severe cases, the home may shift enough to look crooked. When foundations slide, this can damage pipes and other plumbing fixtures in the process. 

Repairing foundation and slab leaks can be a costly endeavor. Only professionals can do it legally, and there are usually city ordinances and building codes to follow while completing the work. Homeowners can keep an eye out for cracks in walls and floors, gaps around windows, and sagging floors that might indicate a foundation issue. If these signs crop up, call a foundation specialist right away to get the problem sorted out early. 

broken underground pipes

Problem # 3: Busted Underground Pipes

Underground pipe issues can arise from a variety of spring-storm-related factors. Flooding can super-saturate soil, leading to shifting of underground pipes and fixtures, or in some cases, a pipe can burst due to the pressures of the flooding water. 

But these pipes are underground, so what do they have to do with the inside of a home? 

  • Burst pipes can introduce hazardous materials into the soil and drinking water of a home.
  • Pipes that have bowed underground won't drain properly, leading to more clogs and increasing potential for damage to the pipe itself.
  • Sagging or shifting of pipes can lead to a backflow of sewer lines into a home, introducing hazardous waste back into the home's drains.

Homeowners can prevent underground pipes from bursting under the strains of spring weather by having them inspected and cleaned annually. Clean pipes can handle demands better than dirty ones, and during an annual inspection, a plumber can tell if a pipe has begun to sag or if it needs a clog broken up before the spring rains come. 

When it comes to spring plumbing issues, it's better to be prepared! 

About G.F. Bowman, Inc.

G.F. Bowman Plumbing, Inc. knows the value of honest work. They began in a small garage in Cleona, PA back in 1967, and since then they've been bringing their home-grown values to the job every day. Every job is completed with customer satisfaction in mind while providing economical plumbing solutions for their clients. Call now for plumbing services!