The drainage system of our homes is one of the daily luxuries of our lives, which we take for granted.
A simple disturbance such as a clogged drain can wreak havoc on our houses because it can lead to the build-up of mold, create an unhygienic environment, and can even emit bad smells.
Clogged drains can be difficult to repair but are easily avoidable. Drains can get clogged from both natural and human causes.
Here are some of the things you might be doing which are clogging your house’s drain as well as how to fix them.
1. Build-up of Hair
Hair is one of the leading causes of clogged drains. After shaving or showering, washing down bits or strands of hair seems like a small deal at first. However, the hair starts to accumulate in the drain and other things such as dirt get caught in it.
A good way around this is to use preventative measures. Be more cautious while disposing hair and you can also install devices to catch the hair.
2. Beware of Tree Roots
From the initial glance, as one of the most common causes of clogged drains, it is difficult to see how tree roots could clog a drain. Trees and plants are naturally drawn to water so, even if there is a very small crack in your pipes, the roots of these plants will grow towards the water.
The tree roots will eventually grow and enter the pipe, damaging the pipe even more. The root will also expand and keep growing inside the pipe, obstructing the flow of water and thus, clogging the drain.
Some solutions include calling a professional for a new pipe relining after a root has damaged it. You could also regularly monitor the condition of the pipes and repair leaks as soon as they form.
3. Soap Can Clog Drains
Most bar soaps that you come across are made with a certain amount of fat. One of the drain’s worst enemies are fat and grease, and even the tiniest amount over time can clog your drain.
Gradually, as you use soap, soap scum starts to form in the inner lining of the pipe and the passageway for water becomes smaller.
A way to handle this is when you are maintaining and cleaning the pipes, make sure to pressure clean it to get rid of the soap scum. Additionally, you could switch to soap-free washes to prevent this problem.
4. Dirt in Pipes
One of the more difficult issues to prevent is the build-up of dirt in pipes. We usually wash any type of dirt off ourselves, not really thinking about the aftermath.
The residue starts to collect in the pipes and even gets caught in hair and soap scum, leading to very nasty clogs.
Even though you are bound to face this type of clog often in your home, there is no reason for not prolonging the problem for as long as possible.
If you ever come home with a lot of mud and dirt, make sure to wash off outside. Alternatively, you can also regularly plunge the drain or install devices to catch the dirt before they enter the pipes.
5. Greasy Pipes
Grease is another clogging agent which is very difficult to workaround. Grease does not instantly clog your drain, it builds up over time while coating the inner lining of the pipe and getting caught in other residues.
Grease gets in drains in the first place as we tend to wash greasy dishes which allows the grease and fat to go directly in the pipe. As the weather changes, the ease at which the drain will clog will vary because the oil becomes harder faster during the winter.
To prevent this, you can remove grease from dishes into a container and dispose of it separately in the trash. However, if you are already facing issues with a clogged drain, you can mix hot water with detergent, pour it down the drain, and then plunge it up.
6. Cat Litter in Pipes
Off the bat, this seems to be a very peculiar yet common item to clog drains. It is not as much about the cat litter as it is about the malpractices that some homeowners have.
Some people assume that toilets are supposed to be able to take all kinds of waste and so they dump their cat litter, which in turn, clogs the drains.
The only way around this is to properly dispose of cat litter and not to flush it down the toilet.
7. Mineral Build-up in Pipes
Just like grease or soap scum, the mineral build-up can collect around the pipe and decrease the diameter through which water passes through, eventually clogging the pipe.
To avoid this issue, the first test to see if the water is hard or soft to understand the condition of the water from your water supply. If you see that the water is hard early on, you can put up water softeners around your house.
8. Food Waste Inside Pipes
Waste such as tea leaves, bits of food, and chips of bones are some of the food waste which can be found in drains. Waste such as tea leaves is difficult to break down, so they collect in the drains and clog them.
A solution to this is collecting the food before doing the dishes and using them as compost. Moreover, you can install nets around your drain to catch the waste before it goes into the pipe.
9. Improper Disposal of Toiletries
Items such as feminine hygiene products and diapers are commonly flushed down toilets. These items increase in size while in pipes and are hard to break down. Therefore, they remain in the pipe and end up clogging it.
The only way around this is to properly dispose of toiletries by keeping a trashcan nearby.
To deal with clogged drains, you will need to combine the efforts of both preventative and reactive approaches. Even a small change in your lifestyle can save the drains in your home.