The aftermath of Hurricane Irma and Harvey for plumbing contractors has created an instant surge in demand that per the National Association of Homebuilders already has a shortage in the skilled trade industry to begin with.¹
As the waters recede and the damages are assessed by insurance companies in Southwest Florida and Southeast Texas, local plumbing contractors are facing a monumental task to meet the demands of phone calls they are starting to receive.
Evan Gartenberg, of Plumbing Supply Now, a New Jersey based plumbing supply facility are already shifting into high gear to stock up their in-house inventory to make sure plumbing and construction contractors can fulfill the heavy demand.
“Contractors are working around the clock as the endless number of requests keep pouring in. Our responsibility as a plumbing supply company is to ensure we can keep items in stock and ship quickly to areas in Southwest Florida and Southeast Texas, as well as our current vendors across the country.”
“The unique situation with back to back hurricanes so close together is local warehouses and back stock get depleted almost daily, making it hard to tell initially what the long-term demand needs are.” Per Gartenberg, many plumbing contractors are receiving over 100 calls a day with many customers not really knowing what are the issues. “With the drain field levels, as high as they are, some of our customers have to wait out the water levels before assessing the real issues.”
“Most people do not think about their pipes in the event of a major storm, the first thought is food, water, and shelter, but with weather tracking technology today, usually we have 3 to 5 days to prepare and secure our homes and business the best we can,” says Gartenberg.
So far in 2017, it seems Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have put storm preparation into the forefront and how we need to protect against damage to our homes and businesses.
Here are 5 Easy Tips from Plumbing Supply Now to prepare for a Major Storm:
- Show your family members where the main water valve is and shut it off.
Ask yourself. Do you know how to shut off the main water valve and where to locate it? Show your spouse and/or children where to locate it and shut if off before a hurricane or major storm. This will save you any trouble if the power should go out. You don’t want to be guessing in the dark! Be prepared.
- Check and test your Sump Pump.
Most sump pumps are found in a crawl space or basement. We advise you fill the basin with a few gallons of water to make sure it activates when triggered. The crock should pump out the access water and keep flooding in your crawl space down. It usually has a low-level hum you can hear when it runs so listen for your sump pump and make sure it’s ready to do the job.
- Check your drains.
With the likelihood of massive flooding, check to make sure your drainage system around the house is clear of any debris or backups. Traps and drain systems can get clogged which prevent any relief from runoff water. This quick check can help prevent unnecessary pressure on your pipes which can cause more damage.
- Shut off the Water Heater.
Shutting off the gas or electric that connects to your water heater will reduce the stress of heating and replenishing the tank during a flood. Please make sure to check your manufacturer’s guide on how to turn it off. Also, in the event of extended periods of time without electric, your water heater can serve as a water source in case of an emergency.
- Do a quick post storm test.
Following a major storm or hurricane, it’s important to allow all faucets to run for up to 5 minutes to clear out any air in the lines and flush out any bacteria that may start accumulating. If your water valve has been shut off for an extended period of time, you should contact your water municipal to see what type of water usage is allowed.
These basic tips are what you can do outside of contacting a local professional plumber. It is strongly advised to have an inspection after a major storm if you are still unsure about what to do. Most experienced plumbers maintain stock on their trucks and can make repairs in one visit.
With the hardest hit areas in Southwest Florida and Southeast Texas from the hurricanes, rebuilding and repair will be going on for several months and even years. Plumbing Supply Now wants to make sure that orders from these afflicted areas can ship quickly and in bulk.
“Right now, we have to make sure we can service orders from all 50 states, but pay special attention to the needs of the hurricane ravaged areas,” says Gartenberg.
Evan Gartenberg is the head of Business Development at Plumbing Supply Now, a full service plumbing supply warehouse for all plumbing essentials for all professionals and contractors. Call Evan today at 1-888-224-4995 to discuss what we can do to assist you and your business.
¹Moneywatch: Jonathan Berr Aug 31, 2017