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Urban Flooding is Upon Us - Are You Prepared?

Blog by Kristen Meyer | December 12th, 2010

It must be my day off during La Nina amidst a Pineapple Express!  My third stressed-out phone call has come in.  "I'm ankle deep in sewage, there's water in the garage, and do you know of a good plumber?"

We are having some heavy rains in Seattle.  They are expected to continue through Monday.  One of the homeowner challenges we may experience is a result of the havoc saturated grounds can reek on our underground sewer system. 

It was sewage that made me realize I truly was in love with my then new-boyfriend, current husband and father of my child.  It was a rainy week after a certain hairy band, who ate a lot of fiber, stayed at my house.  After a morning of showers and long day of rain, murky brown "water" started to geyser out of the drain on the basement floor.  I new homeowner of 2 months and miser of 25 years, I was frightened.  The very thought of poo-water going somewhere other than the magical and mystical place called the city sewer system was enough to send me back to apartment life immediately. 

Until, with no hesitation and a flurry of manly bravado, Justin procured and drain snake, rolled up his pant legs, and got IN IT.  Most ladies I know would agree - there really is nothing hotter than a man snaking your drain.

When the ground is as saturated as this it can cause minor shifts in the earth that supports the complex web of drains that quietly takes our unmentionable bits out to its final place.  The system is deluged from storm water run-off, sewage, garbage disposal ick, & laundry.  It's a lot for the system and if it can't all get where it needs to go it will end up in your house.

Tips to Prevent Sewer back-ups:

-Be prudent with the stuff you shove into your garbage disposal
-If you have roots in your pipes, do a preventative rooting every now and then
-When you buy a home, do a sewer inspection to make sure you know of any potential issues that could happen
-Get a recommendation from friends or your Realtor for plumbers - there are some snarky companies out there

Tips to Prevent Roof Leaks:

-Clean moss, debris and leaves off your roof as needed
-Clean your gutters often
-Use a zinc-based moss preventer
-Do roof maintenance and repair to extend the life of your lid

Tips to Prevent Basement Leaks:

-Clogged gutters and downspouts are the biggest culprit in a leaky basement
-Make sure your gutters drain way from your foundation
-Install extended piping during heavy rains to divert downspout water even further from your home
-If you live at the bottom of a hill or have repeated issues, look into installing an interior or exterior perimeter drain, a french drain, a sump pump, or a combination of these methods
-We can provide recommended drainage contractors if you need it

Don't panic.  The rain will stop.  The sun will shine.  If you need any professional assistance with any rain-related challenges feel free to contact us.

Kristen Meyer Lapriore - Keller Williams Realty Seattle Metro