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Q: After years of drought, we’re thankful for all the rain we’ve been getting in West Texas. This may sound like a strange question, but are there any potential plumbing problems I need to look for when it rains a lot?

A: We are very thankful for the rain. It’s great to see more “green” outside. As to your question, there are a couple things to pay attention to when we get a lot of rain.

* Make sure your gutters are clear. We tend to clean what we see and we don’t see our gutters unless we purposely climb up to check them out. Keeping them free of leaves, twigs and debris helps your drainage. An effective way to clean gutters is to use a leaf blower. My home has a flat roof so it’s relatively easy to get up there and walk around. With my leaf blower I can clear the gutters pretty quickly.

If your roof is pitched and/or you’re nervous at all about being up high, call a professional to clear your gutters. It’s not worth risking injury.

* Check pipes for blockages. Rains that come hard and fast wash can wash debris into pipes and storm drains. Per our previous point, if your gutters aren’t clean a heavy downpour can clog your downpipes with leaves.

If you have debris on your roof, the drain vents to your sewer can also become blocked. This can cause bad odors to back up through your drains.

* Potential flooding. After steady rains, the soil gets saturated with moisture. That moisture can find the cracks in basement walls. Homes in areas of the country that get more rain are typically equipped with sump pumps. Homes that aren’t need to be watched. Make sure basement drains are clear and check to be sure that excess moisture isn’t the start of mold growth.

* Broken pipes. When we think broken pipes, we typically think about them freezing. Yet a massive rain after a long dry spell can cause the ground to shift. This puts pressure on pipes. If they are older galvanized pipes that are corroding, a big rain might break them. Call your professional plumber to have them replaced.

The experts at Sinclair know how to keep all your drains clear. Give them a call and they’ll be happy to help. Call them at 806-749-COOL (2665)

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