Did you know that the US alone uses more than 400 billion gallons of water every day? This water is used for drinking, washing, and preparing food in both residential and commercial properties. However, as much as people love water and the numerous benefits it provides, it can become a real enemy in the case of floods.
But what causes flooding? And how can you prevent it in your home? Flooding is one of the worst things that can happen because uncontrolled water does catastrophic damage. Here are the most common causes of flooding that you need to know about.
1. Snow and Ice Melting
One major cause of floods is represented by the melting of ice or snow. As you already know, ice and snow are nothing but water in a different form. When it snows a lot, it tends to accumulate in large quantities on the roof of your house. Some homeowners have small cracks in their roofs and this is how the water can get inside the house and cause damage.
Snow and ice can melt quickly during the spring. In a matter of hours, many gallons of water can get through your roof and inside your attic. This flooding can cause damages to the electrical system and mess with your furniture items as well. What’s to be done? Make sure that your roof is properly sealed and your gutters are not blocked, so that melting snow can be drained properly.
2. A Broken Pipe
Broken pipes represent one of the worst nightmares for homeowners. Most of the plumbing system is made of metal pipes guaranteed to last for decades. However, they can be easily damaged by various weather conditions, earthquakes, tree roots, and other factors. When too much stress is put on a pipe, it will simply burst and let the water flow uncontrollably all over the place.
If a pipe bursts underground somewhere in your yard then that’s not a big problem. However, in some unfortunate cases, it can burst inside your house. You might not even be at home to see this and you’ll eventually get back and be welcomed by a totally unpleasant scene. Water running through a broken pipe can cause massive flooding and not only in your bathroom. Make sure that you check your plumbing system often and shut the main water supply if any leak is detected.
3. A Faulty Appliance
There are a lot of things that can go wrong inside your house. Appliances that use water on a regular basis are one of those things. For example, your washing machine, dryer or air conditioning unit or water tank can all go wrong at some point in the future and cause massive floods inside the house.
How is that possible? Well, just as in the previous example, a pipe might break or the components of the appliance are not sealed properly. A small leak now can grow in a bigger one tomorrow and before you know it, you have water all over your bathroom or kitchen. If this happens, turn off the electricity as soon as possible and unplug the faulty appliance. As you probably already know, water in combination with electrical wires is a no-no, so you need to shut down the electrical supply from the main panel right away.
4. A Clogged Drain
If a pipe doesn’t burst to cause water damage, it can get clogged. This happens on a regular basis in most residential and commercial properties. Whether we talk about the bathtub or sink drain, these pipes can accumulate a lot of impurities and debris that make the water overflow at some point in the future.
The same story goes for your toilet. Maybe someone in your family dropped something inside the toilet and this caused a massive blockage. The water will overflow and before you know it, there’s a big puddle in the hallway coming from your bathroom. One of the best ways to prevent clogs is to periodically check your plumbing system and let a professional plumber eliminate blockages when these appear.
5. A Faulty Home Foundation
Just as the roof can have cracks that allow melting snow to get inside the house. The foundation can also pose serious problems and cause massive flooding. A faulty, cracked or damaged foundation absorbs moisture from the ground. With the passing of years, this moisture can get inside your house through the floors and cause damage to your furniture items and electrical devices.
If you live in a place where it rains a lot, flooding can happen sooner than you might expect. The solution would be to seal your foundation and basement areas with a special type of waterproof membrane. This service is an investment in your residential property, but it raises its value and gives you more peace of mind.
6. You Simply Forgot the Water Running Continuously
In some cases, a home flooding is not caused by a damaged attic, foundation or by faulty appliances. You simply wanted to fill the bathtub with water to enjoy a relaxing bath and then the phone rang. You pick up the phone and engage in a lengthy conversation, forgetting that the water is running in your bathtub. In just 20-30 minutes, your tub might be overflowing with water and you’ll quickly see it spreading all over your hallway. Children are more likely to forget about running water, so make sure that you educate them on this aspect.
Now You Know What Causes Flooding and How Can You Prevent It!
Hopefully, this article provided ample answers to your original question – what causes flooding. A flood in the house can be very dangerous and create catastrophic damage, but luckily you now know how to prevent it. As long as you keep your plumbing system in check and repair the cracks in your roof, you are golden.
By the way, in the unfortunate event of a massive home flooding, you also need to know what to do next to minimize damage and get your life back on track. Check out our article on home flooding that will educate you on the right steps to take after you’ve had your house flooded with water.