Clogged home drainage has a way of hiding the building blockage until it's too late. The signs of a clogged drain and blocked pipes usually don't reveal themselves until the it's finally too blocked to properly drain. Unfortunately the hidden threats of a clogged home drainage can have unfortunate repercussions and lead to costly repairs. It can lead to damaged walls, damaged floors, corrosion, flooding, and even sewage backup. As with anything, prevention is key. Preventing clogged drains and blocked pipes before the problem starts will save you a lot of time, energy, and money in the long run. Below are 7 reasons why your home drainage gets blocked and how to prevent it from happening.
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Dirt and Debris
Dirt and debris can clog your washing machine line, your shower drain, sink drain, and even the kitchen sink. As you know, dirt becomes mud when it comes into contact with water. So the dirt and debris sentiments can end up clumped in your pipes over time. Before long, that mud clumps together enough to block the water from flowing properly through the drains. One way to prevent this is to make sure to shake off your clothes and towels before tossing them into the washing machine. Before jumping into the shower or tub, brush off any mud or dirt that may be on your body as well. Opt for washing your hands off with the outdoor hose if they're full of mud, rather than washing the mud off directly into the sink.
Hair is a key player in clogged drains. It flows down into the drain in a shower and before long it creates a glob of blockage in that drain. It ends up acting like a net, catching all the other particles and debris that are trying to pass through the drain. One way to prevent this is to make sure your drains have guards (or a screen) on them that can catch the hair. It might not catch all of the hair, but it will at least prevent a large portion of it from passing through.
Toys and Small Objects
If you have small children, you know how small toys and small objects can mysteriously end up in the drain. Little leggo parts, Barbie doll shoes, nothing is off limits when it comes to kids toys and bath time. Before opening the drain and letting their bath water out, make sure to scoop out all their toys. Make sure the shower caddy you store them in is secure and doesn't have any holes that they can slip through and fall down into the drain in between baths.
Hygiene Items and Toiletries
It's a good idea to keep personal hygiene items out of the toilet. Even if they say they are able to be flushed, it's just not worth taking a chance. This includes women's sanitary items, baby wipes, and diapers. When these items are flushed, they begin to enlarge in the water. They can end up swelling and actually breaking the pipes over time. Taking the time to dispose of these items in the trash, vs flushing them down the toilet, will spare you very costly sewer drain repairs down the road.
Outdoor debris also plays a role in clogged home drainage. Especially if you live in an area that has a lot of trees and shrubs. The weight from things like broken branches, leaves, mud, and even heavy rains can cause your outdoor pipes to crack and break. When the pipes crack, it gives leaves and mud an opportunity to settle down into that crack and create a roadblock for water as it flows from the drains in your home. Which will undoubtedly lead to issues in your home as the water is unable to properly flow. It leads to a backup and potential flooding inside your home.
When washing dishes in the kitchen sink, you'll want to make sure food waste doesn't slip through into the drain. While one might thing that the flood will flow through due to the water pressure, this is generally not the case. Food waste can solidify over time in the pipes and lead to an unwanted blockage. Oily foods will also contribute to the muck and yuckiness that sticks to the drainage pipes. This muck ends up being a perfect "glue" for catching other food particles as they try to pass. When pulling the sink stopper out after washing dishes, pull it out just enough for the water to pass through. Let the sink stopper collect all the food debris as the water passes through the drain. Afterwards, take the sink stopper and dump the food waste in the trash.
Traditional soap bars and body washes are made with oils and fats. These oils and fats will leave a hard soap scum residue on the pipes as it mixes with the minerals in the water. This causes a buildup in the drain, which only adds to other issues such as hair buildup. Try using a natural soaps or soap-free washes instead. These alternatives tend to leave less of a soap scum buildup because their ingredients are cleaner.
Diagnosing Your Current Drainage Issue
The most effective way to properly diagnose your current drainage problem is to contact a professional. Schedule an appoint with a company like definitiveplumbing.com and have someone come out to your home. The professionals have specialized equipment that they use to determine the cause of the blockage, the severity of the blockage, and how to fix the issue. Generally a camera is lowered down into pipes to perform an inspection on your pipes and drainage line. It provides you with a full drainage report, as well as pictures and video of the obstruction. While the professionals are there, they can also do an inspection on the rest of your pipes and inform you of any other building issues that need to be addressed.