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3 Reasons Your Home Could Flood When It’s Not Even Raining

MACK Estates, a premier provider of redeveloped and new-construction for-sale housing, explains why a blocked sewer pipe can spell disaster for homeowners

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--While flooding from summer storms is inevitable, some home floods are preventable. Tinley Park, Ill.-based MACK Estates, a division of MACK Companies, which is one of the largest owners and managers of single-family rental and for-sale housing in the Chicago area, advises homeowners to scope the main sewer pipe to avoid this hidden danger.

“When flushing issues are chronic, and plunging and other quick-fixes don’t work, it’s time to scope the sewer pipe.”

“A blocked sewer pipe is a lot like a clogged artery for a home. You need the water to flow or it’s going to devastate the home’s health,” said James McClelland, CEO at MACK Estates. Each of the firm’s for-sale homes have undergone a rigorous redevelopment process to ensure peace of mind for its owners, including inspecting each home’s sewer pipe.

“Sewer-water floods are very unpleasant, and can damage flooring, walls, electronics and other items caught in the path of the water,” said McClelland. These issues can be an invisible hazard lurking underneath a home or yard, as many homeowners don’t know the reasons it can happen to them.

What’s making it flood

According to McClelland, there are three common reasons why sewer pipes become obstructed and force water back into the home:

1. Tree roots have penetrated the pipe

“Tree roots will seek water and find the pipe over time. It’s not a matter of if, but when, they’ll get into the pipe,” said McClelland. If left untreated, a tree-root clog can break the pipe.

2. Age and decay has caused the pipe to collapse

Many older homes have clay pipes that are more susceptible to breaking underground. “Most homeowners don’t even know if they’ve got clay pipes and how at risk they really are to flooding and water damage,” said McClelland.

3. Toys and other objects have clogged the pipe

“Many children are curious to see what they can flush down a toilet, often without their parents’ knowledge,” said McClelland. “It’s more common than you might think.”

When you’re at risk

Homeowners should consider scoping the main sewer line if they meet any of the following criteria:

It’s an older home

Older homes typically have larger, older trees in the yard. “Every day the trees’ roots are growing and encroaching on the piping. It’s a gradual process that one day turns into a major problem,” said McClelland.

The home was purchased from a flipper

A flipper may not know the sewer pipe is clogged since he or she never lived in the home. McClelland said, “The amount of water that moves through these pipes when a family of three or four lives in a home is far more than any amount that will move through them during the redevelopment process, and if the flipper isn’t faced with an issue, there’s no reason to do it.”

You’re planning a renovation

“Nothing’s worse than investing the time and money into your home, only to have it ruined by a flood and having to go back to square one,” said McClelland.

Signs of a problem

There are symptoms of a blocked sewer pipe that often precede major flooding:

Toilets continually back up

McClelland advised, “When flushing issues are chronic, and plunging and other quick-fixes don’t work, it’s time to scope the sewer pipe.”

Sinks and bathtubs won’t drain

One of the most inconvenient signs of a blocked pipe is when the water won’t drain. “If the water has nowhere to go, you can’t run your faucet, and have to find other ways to brush your teeth, wash the dishes and other basic tasks,” said McClelland.

How to avoid a disaster

To see if a sewer pipe is obstructed, a scoping device containing a camera can be inserted into the pipe, displaying the activity on a monitor in real time. “It allows you to see exactly what the obstruction is, and precisely where it’s located,” said McClelland. In most cases, an obstruction can be ground out or pushed through with a root-cutting head attached to the device. When that’s not possible, a hole will need to be dug to access and replace the obstructed piece of pipe.

Although some home-improvement stores rent the necessary scoping equipment, and most towns don’t require a permit for the work, hiring a plumber might be the most efficient way to check the pipes. McClelland added, “Homeowners need to be aware of this hidden danger that will not just cost money to repair, but dramatically disrupt their life. It’s a very preventable disaster.”

About MACK Estates

MACK Estates provides quality new-construction and redeveloped homes to the Chicago area, and is led by professionals with more than 50 years of experience in new-home construction and redevelopment. MACK Estates is a division of MACK Companies, which is comprised of specialized businesses that offer investment, construction, residential, commercial, landscape and brokerage services. For more information, visit mackcompanies.com.

Editors: For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Julie Liedtke at jliedtke@taylorjohnson.com or (312) 267-4521.


for MACK Estates
Julie Liedtke, (312) 267-4521