When a pipe bursts or your geyser leaks, you’ll be faced with the consequences of a home flood. These scenarios are stressful, and the consequences are manifold. However, with the help of PlumbingWays you can rest assured knowing that you did everything you could to mitigate the damage. Read this article if you want to know more about the causes, effects and solutions to home floods, as well as the role that an emergency plumber can play in helping you handle it all.




Possible Reasons Your Apartment Flooded:


With the help of an emergency plumber from PlumbingWays, you can quickly and accurately identify the cause of your flooding issue. PlumbingWays’ staff are trained and experienced in remedying flood emergencies, as they have learnt many rapid response techniques for numerous scenarios. With the help of an emergency plumber from PlumbingWays, you won’t have to worry too much about the technicalities of flood management and mitigation. They will simply determine whether the source of the problem is one of the following issues.


Burst Pipe


Burst pipes are caused by clogs in drainage systems, cracks in the piping fabric and historical erosion. When movement continues through pipes that are eroded, cracked or clogged, the water pressure tends to accumulate. High water pressure can lead to sudden bursts that give way to floods. Other potential reasons for a burst pipe include metal corrosion, mould growth, freezing, compromised structural frameworks, or tree root encroachment.


Broken water main


A water main is a pipe that sits underground, moving from the underside of streets and sidewalks, connecting to pipelines beneath your building. The water main carries water from the water reserve in your area to your home. Water mains tend to break due to changes in weather that cause the ground to shift and disturb the pipe placements. Overly dry or wet weather conditions can cause the pipe to break under pressure or corrode.


Signs of a Main Water Leak


  • Hissing sounds from underground
  • Mould or mildew accumulating
  • Low water pressure
  • Increased prices for water
  • Water damage on the ceilings or walls
  • Puddles of water near the mainline




Clogged plumbing


Plumbing can get clogged very easily through a few simple domestic mistakes. For example, your toilet will overflow if you place large volumes of waste or foreign objects in it – too much toilet paper, plastics or even sanitary products can cause your pipes to get clogged. Another common mistake is the collection of hair in your shower drain or bathtub. In the kitchen, the issue is usually due to a large portion of food remnants in the sink.


Storm drain overflow


Storm drains are a device within a sewerage system designed to relieve planes from excessive water runoff. It is a catchment system that is supposed to gather and evenly discharge the excess water into canals, rivers, seas or other catchbasins. However, when there are torrential rains and the rainwater exceeds the volume capacity of the storm drain, it is highly likely that the storm drain is going to overflow and cause consequent flooding. With the help of an emergency plumber, you can, however, ask for help with storm drain cleaning and storm drain repair.


Consequences of Flooding


There are a variety of consequences that can become apparent after floods. These issues will be a major source of anxiety and stress for any homeowner or landlord, as they require expensive repairs and time-consuming efforts to remedy. However, an emergency plumber can counsel you on the best ways to minimise these risks. The three main types of damage in the case of flooding are infrastructural damage, electrical damage and health hazards such as mould.




Infrastructural Damage


Floods can cause major infrastructural damage. It can compromise the foundations of your home and make your residence susceptible to collapse. Floodwaters can create damaged drywall, encourage mould accumulation on the walls and even cause window frames to break. Wood will swell and insulation will become wet and consequently ineffective.


Electrical Damage


Electrical damage is a particularly serious and expensive consequence of flooding. When electrical outlets and switches get damaged by water, they will probably require replacement. This means that an electrician will have to be brought in to deal with the rewiring of your house. Furthermore, your appliances are at risk of breakage and you will likely have to replace them.


Health Hazards


Mould is a particularly dangerous consequence of flooding. It is a form of fungus that produces spores which float in the air and produce allergens and toxins that can be harmful to humans. Mould thrives in warm, damp spaces, so if your home is not adequately dried and cleaned after a flood, then it is likely to proliferate everywhere. Mould can grow on almost any damp surface.


Furniture, tiles, wood, paper, clothing, walls or even fridges are vulnerable to mould when they are water-logged or moist. The presence of mould causes a variety of health problems such as asthma attacks, allergic reactions, respiratory problems, weakened immune systems, and general irritation or sensitivity. There are different types of mould, each with its own consequences and environmental nuances – some of the different types of indoor mould include Alternaria, Penicillium, Cladosporium and Aspergillus. Other mould-related health hazards are listed below:


  • Aspergillosis
  • Bronchities
  • Allergic Alveolitis
  • Allergic fungal sinusitis




Common Issues in Apartment Buildings


When flooding occurs in an apartment building, there are additional complexities and consequences that make it difficult to manage. Tenants have legal rights, and landlords are expected to manage the maintenance of drainage and water systems. When a disaster occurs, it’s best to call an emergency plumber to help prevent the issue from spreading from one unit to another. Some of the more common plumbing issues in apartment buildings are listed below.


Dirty Water


If a pipe becomes rusty, it can cause your water to look brown and taste metallic. While this is not fatal, it can be problematic for those who are drinking the water, as many people are quite sensitive to the taste. If the water is only brown and dirty when it comes from a particular faucet, it means that the issue is isolated to that pipe. If not, there is a larger problem and an emergency plumber should be contacted.


Leaking Geyser


Leaking geysers are particularly dangerous in large apartment buildings. If the leak is near your apartment, it will affect your supply of hot water and cause changes in water pressure. Leaking geysers should either be repaired or replaced as soon as the leak is identified. In these more serious cases, it is better for an emergency plumber to handle the scenario because an amateur plumber is likely to exacerbate the issue.


Ceiling damage


If your bathroom is flooding above another apartment, this will lead to the tenant below having water damage in their ceiling. Ceiling damage is dangerous because it poses a threat to the structure of the building. If the water damage is extensive and it is not addressed timeously, it is highly likely that the ceiling could collapse and the bathroom could enclose in the apartment below it.


Poorly executed DIY work


Many people like to fancy themselves as DIY geniuses. With the right amount of YouTube videos and a can-do attitude, they believe that they can save a buck by resolving plumbing issues themselves. However, plumbing is a niche skill set that requires training, tools and tenacity. Without the correct qualifications, amateur plumbers actually risk worsening their situation and further descending into damaging flood disasters.


Inconsistent Maintenance


If you live in an apartment building, then your building manager and maintenance manager should regularly check the geysers, pipes and tanks to ensure that there is no significant damage. Without constant surveillance, it is very easy for blockages, corrosion and rust accumulation to go unnoticed. This will only lead to crises where an emergency plumber will be required to fix what could otherwise have been avoided.


Mismanaged safety valves


A safety valve is a piece of equipment that controls the water supply and drainage systems in each unit of an apartment building. When flooding occurs in apartment buildings, mismanaged safety valves are usually the source of the issue. Mismanaged safety valves generally cause slow drainage and low water pressure.




Tips to Respond to a Flooded Apartment While You Wait for an Emergency Plumber:


As soon as you recognise flooding in your apartment or house, you should call an emergency plumber to help you deal with the fallout. Flooding is a high-stress situation that can cause a person to act irrationally under pressure, so it’s best to leave the bulk of the work to the professionals. In the meantime, you can try to minimise damages by carrying out the following actionable steps.


Find the source of the leak.


When a flood breaks out, it is important to respond as quickly as possible, otherwise, the damage could be extensive as well as expensive. As soon as flooding begins, you should search the affected area for clues to its source. If you can see that the leak is coming from a burst pipe or an open faucet, then try to stop it immediately if you have the capacity to do so. The next step is to ensure that the electricity in that affected area is switched off, as this will help you to avoid an electrical fire or short-circuiting in your home.


Remove any valuable items.


Whether you have insurance or not, it is wise to try your best to regain any of your sentimental or valuable items from the area that is flooding. If the object cannot be replaced, then grab it before it gets water-logged or water-damaged. Place these items elsewhere, preferably in a spot where they can dry off easily and get some sunlight. Do not attempt to remove electrical items out of the water, in case they cause electrocution.


Increase air circulation and ventilation.


You want to get as much air in the room as possible so that the water can evaporate and the surfaces can dry. Open the windows, put the fans on, and leave the doors and cupboards ajar. If you have air conditioning, then leave it at a low temperature so that it can slowly begin to pull the moisture out of the space. This will help to prevent dampness and mould from spreading.


Remove the water and clean up the area.


If the flooding is not too extensive, you should try to clean up the area as best as you can. Grab some buckets and try to scoop away any collections of water. Take a mop and try your best to mop up any remaining water on the floors. This will be a helpful measure that can prevent the damage from worsening while you wait for help from an emergency plumber.


Consult with insurance.


If you’re covered by insurance for flooding, it would be a good idea to call them and see what kind of coverage and financial support they can offer you. Flood mitigation can be quite expensive, so it’s worth calling in some help. This will ease the financial burden on you, and the insurance company can offer you advice on how to go about resolving the issue in compliance with their policies.


About PlumbingWays


PlumbingWays is a business that has been registered by the Institute of Plumbing in South Africa. They provide affordable, friendly service and they will ensure that your home is expertly taken care of in the event of a sudden flood. If you’re ever in need of an emergency plumber, you can count on PlumbingWays to provide the best possible team to help you.