Blocked drains should be dealt with right away because clogs will only worsen over time. Being able to recognize the causes of commonly blocked drains will help you avoid problems before they start. Here are 6 of the top offenders.
1. Flushable Wipes
Whether is baby or cleaning wipes, these types of products should never be flushed down the toilet. Even if the wipes you buy claim to be “flushable”, don’t do it. Basically, the only thing that you should flush is toilet paper. Drains clogged with flushable wipes typically require professional plumbing services.
Human hair is a common reason behind blocked drains because it can knot up, combine with substances like grease and soap scum, and end up affixing itself to areas of the drain. Most stubborn clogs have hair involved, especially in showers, bathtubs, and bathroom sinks.
3. Fat, Oil and Grease
Greasy substances can cause serious problems to drain systems, solidifying and causing blockages. It only takes a little bit of grease to cause a big problem because it coats the pipe and at some point, hardens. Even if this doesn’t happen, it can cause debris to build up, eventually making it impossible for the drain to do an adequate job.
4. Soap Scum
Soap scum (residue) accumulates over time, especially in bathroom, shower, and laundry drains, leading to slow drainage and eventually backups. Soap scum can also end up combining with other debris to create blockages. Switching to liquid soap can help avoid these types of clogs because they wash down the drain a lot easier than the residue created by bar soap.
5. Leaves and Plants
It’s easy for exterior drains to get clogged up by leaves and plants, especially throughout the fall season. You can help prevent leaves and plants from causing blockages by using a drain guard. Drain guards allow water to filter through but keep the leaves and other debris away from the surface of the drain.
6. Tree Roots
Tree roots can end up breaking through drain pipes, causing an extreme amount of damage. Even the smallest crack in a drainpipe can make it easy for tree roots to force their way in. Once the tree roots work their way inside, they continue growing, obstructing water flow, causing a lot of damage. At this point, you’ll need to hire a professional for drain cleaning to resolve the problem.
Blocked drains are one of the most common plumbing problems. The good news is that you can prevent them from happening by avoiding the common causes of clogged drains listed here.