Did you know that experts suggest you should budget at least 1% of your home’s value for annual repairs? If you’re looking for ways to lower this cost, you’ll need to regularly update your home and its features. Things like keeping your basement free of moisture and maintaining your HVAC system can go a long way toward keeping your costs low. Another way to save on repairs is to avoid having a blocked drain in your home.
If you don’t fix a blocked drain right away, you risk causing long-term buildup and damage to your pipes, leading to costly fixes over time.
To avoid clogs in your pipes, you need to know the most common causes of these blockages. Keep reading to learn what these are and how to avoid them in your home.
Hair easily builds up in shower and bathroom drains. Even with plugs or covers designed to catch hair, hair can still get in the pipes over time and cause a mess.
To unblock a drain clogged with hair, clear it out with a homemade rinse made with vinegar and baking soda. You can also use a drain snake to reach into the pipes and pull the clog out.
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Every few weeks, double-check that hair isn’t building up in your drain. Remove any blockages you find to prevent clogged pipes in the future.
Soap and Toothpaste
Another clogging culprit in bathroom drains is soap. Over time, soap scum can stick to the walls of the pipes and build a mass that will clog almost any drain pipe.
As with hair buildup, you can clear up a soap blockage with vinegar and baking soda. You can also pour hot water down the drain to reactivate the soap and wash the blockage away.
If you experience repeat clogs caused by soap, it may be time to change the soap you’re using. Bar soap tends to cause more drain blockages than liquid soap. This happens because the bar soap is more likely to resolidify within the pipes than liquid soap.
Toothpaste can cause the same issues as bar soap. The thick liquid can build up in your pipes over time, leaving you with a sticky, unpleasant mess to deal with down the road.
Switching from one toothpaste to another won’t necessarily keep this from happening, as they all have a similar consistency. Brush your teeth using plenty of water to keep the toothpaste from sticking in your pipes.
At the end of a delicious meal, resist the urge to empty your oil-filled pans into the kitchen sink.
Why is this a problem if the oils are made of liquid, you ask? Because unfortunately, cooking oil has a habit of solidifying when it cools down. If this happens while the oil is still in your drain, you’re in for blocked pipes.
Instead, let the grease and oil cool in the pan and on plates until it solidifies. Then, scrape it into the garbage.
Worried about the small bits of oil that remain even after scraping most of the grease into the trash? Use very hot water and lots of dish soap while washing these dishes. These will cut the grease and keep it from hardening up as it washes down your drain.
Even with a garbage disposal, food scraps can spell disaster for your kitchen drain. As much as possible, large food scraps should be thrown away instead of washed down the drain. Only unavoidable food scraps should end up in your garbage disposal.
Non-Flushable Paper Products and Hygiene Items
As much as we’d all love to believe that napkins, tissues, paper towels, and menstrual products can go down the drain, they are not built to be flushed down the toilet. Throw these items away rather than trying to flush them down the drain.
Even wipes that claim to be flushable shouldn’t be flushed frequently. These can stick together in your pipes and create a backup that you’ll have to resolve.
Leaves and Other Outdoor Debris
Showers are made to help you get clean, but only to a certain extent. If too much outdoor debris makes its way into your shower drain, it’ll get clogged and won’t be able to do its job properly.
If the clog is near the top of your drain, you might be able to reach in and remove the dirt, stone, or other debris that is causing the clog. If not, you’ll need to call a professional to help you remove the blockage.
As with the other types of clogs, keeping the blockage from happening in the first place is the easiest and most cost-efficient way to fix it. After spending time hiking, camping, or playing outdoor sports, keep as much of the outdoors out of your home as possible. Shake off dirt, leaves, clay, and pebbles before you come inside and use your shower.
Tree roots can also cause blocked pipes, although this issue is harder to prevent than most of the others discussed in this article. Tree roots seek out water sources at all costs. If there are any cracks or leaks in the pipes running through your yard, any trees planted there will eventually find their way into your pipes.
You’ll need an expert to help diagnose and solve this problem, and it’s likely to be more costly than the other fixes. To keep it from happening, do your best to keep your pipes in good condition, and avoid planting large trees near your water lines.
Above + Beyond Helps With a Blocked Drain
For the toughest clogs, all the best home remedies and DIY solutions can’t help you. At times like these, having experts you can trust makes the difference between getting your problem solved and having to live indefinitely with a clogged drain.
If you have a home in Edmond or anywhere in the Oklahoma City metro that’s in need of drain cleaning, clog removal, or even water line repairs, our certified techs can help with whatever problem you’re experiencing. Our comprehensive and affordable prices make us a one-stop-shop for all your plumbing needs.
Say Goodbye To Clogged Pipes
Now you know the most common causes for a blocked drain in your home. Use the tips above to help you unclog your pipes and keep them from getting backed up in the future.
Need professional support to unclog your blocked drains? Give us a call or fill out our contact form to get in touch with one of our technicians today!