Rain has hit Richmond hard the last few weeks and it seems to be hanging around now that we are into the summer months. The flooding has hit the city hard as there are several areas below sea level and many properties have basements. The flash flooding causes the water levels to rise extremely quickly and with the ground being so saturated the water fills into any open areas it can find.
If the water is coming up through floor drains or sink drains in the basement, then the problem is often water backing up from the municipal sanitary sewer system. During heavy rains, combined sewer systems can become overwhelmed with water. This can cause sewer water to back up in the system and sometimes into homes.
There are other possible explanations, too. Sewer backups can be caused by individual service lines being plugged by grease, waste, tree roots, breaks in pipes or saturated ground. Sewer mains can also be plugged by vandalism or large items dropped down manholes.
This kind of flooding is an enormous problem for homeowners, as it’s largely out of your control and probably means fecal waste backing up into basements. Not only is it disgusting, but it can also be a serious health hazard.
We have had several calls in the past few weeks to address these issues. Many homes did not have a properly working sump-pump and we installed a new one or repaired the existing one so that the water could be drained from the basement. A sump pump is a pump used to remove water that has accumulated in a water-collecting sump basin, commonly found in the basements of homes. Sump pumps are used where basement flooding happens regularly and to solve dampness where the water table is above the foundation of a home.
The other way we can help resolve the issue is to install a backwater valve. A backwater valve is a device in the waste pipe that prevents sewage from flowing back into the home. Plumbing codes require backwater valves when a fixture is installed on a floor that is below the next upstream manhole.
Both of these options can help keep your home from flooding during this rainy season. The projects usually only take a day to complete and we always treat your home as if it were our own.