Drain Maintenance and Repair Advice for the Holiday Season

The temperature is starting to drop, the snow is starting to fall, and Mariah Carey is on the radio, so we all know what that means; the relatives are on their way. So, what do we need to make sure we have ready? We’ve got to get the house clean and tidy before our guests arrive, we’ve got to have enough food and drinks to keep everyone satisfied and content, and we’ve got to make sure all of our drain maintenance and repairs are complete.

Why Do I Need Drain Maintenance, anyway?

Just imagine this: all of your relatives are visiting your house for the holidays; you’ve got friends and family wall to wall in your home. Everyone is having a great time, and then someone taps you on the shoulder to inform you that your toilet is backed up, and not just that, but so is the bathroom sink, and the kitchen sink, too.

Suddenly we’ve gone from dancing and drinking eggnog to crawling under the kitchen sink with a set of tools and a headlamp to see if there’s anything to be done, or if the party is ending early.

The Various Causes of Clogged Drains

There are a variety of different ways that different drains in the home can become clogged, and we are familiar with all of them.

Kitchen Sinks Easily Clog Without Regular Drain Maintenance

Clogs in the kitchen sink are most typically caused by oils and foods that have been put down the drain. Things like coffee grounds and oils being put down the drain can cause blockages that are difficult to clear. This can mean a lot of problems for a kitchen sink’s pipes if you aren’t performing regular drain maintenance. It is important to use the garbage disposal to keep this pipe clear and not put any damaging materials into it.

Bathtub Drain Maintenance Helps to Remove the Usual Culprits

Clogs in the bathtub are commonly caused by the usual culprits, hair and soap scum, but occasionally, also the odd foreign object that gets lost down an open drain (anyone missing a toy after bath time?).

This is one of the more common drain clogs to have in the home, and it is important to keep up with the cleaning before your clogged drain turns your shower into a bath.

Toilets are Known for Clogging Around the Holidays

Toilet clogging is another common problem around the holidays. It’s also one we usually know the reasons for, like using too much toilet paper, but it can also be caused by flushing sanitary items, hair, band-aids, and anything that is not waste or toilet paper.

How Do I Know if My Drains Need Professional Maintenance?

There are several indicators that your drains may need service from a professional. Problems may start simply; a drain that is taking just a little too long to drain, or small amounts of water bubbling out of one faucet while you’re using another. This is a sign that you have a problem, and without preventative measures, things are bound to get worse.

If your drains are left unchecked and unmaintained, you might begin to notice a foul, sewage smell emanating from them. And it won’t just be coming from the toilet; the sink and tub are all connected, so a foul odor coming from any of them is an indicator that something isn’t quite right. It can be a sign of a much bigger problem that could be prevented with proper drain maintenance.

You might also notice pools of sewage collecting in the yard. Yikes! If that’s the case, this is a clear sign that there is a ruptured sewage line. That’s when bigger problems start. Take a look at this article to see for yourself.

What Can I Do to Keep My Drain System Clean and Prevent Clogs?

Drain maintenance is an important, if somewhat unexciting, part of home renting and owning. However, it’s necessary. So, checking the system yourself, as well as making certain you keep up with routine professional drain maintenance, is the best preventative action you can take to avoid emergency drain repair.

Something you can do between regularly scheduled maintenance by the highly trained professionals from Laury Heating Cooling & Plumbing is a simple drain cleaning technique you can perform with common household items, and without using a chemical drain cleaner:

  • First, take a cup of Baking Soda and pour it directly into your drain.
  • Then, take a cup of vinegar, and pour it down the drain. This will cause a reaction that will help to loosen the grease and grime from the drain walls (it’s not harmful to your pipes, don’t worry!).
  • Finally, we’re going to pour boiling water down the drain as well to flush all of that clogging material out of our drainpipes, leaving them clean and ready for action.

This simple drain maintenance task can be done every month to help keep drains free of obstructions. For a visual reference for this simple and easy maintenance technique, you can watch this video.

To keep your drains properly cleaned, and to avoid the potential for a drain disaster that’s going to put a damper on your holiday spirit (and your wallet) it’s important to have regular maintenance done by highly skilled professionals like our people at Laury Heating Cooling & Plumbing!

Do I Need Regular Drain Maintenance Done by a Professional?

According to a study performed by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS), “…more than half of plumbing system failures were the result of sewer backups”. Now, a plumbing system failure already doesn’t sound like something we want to deal with this holiday season, but it sounds even worse when you hear that IBHS says that each failure “cost more than $5,500 per incident” to repair. Wow!

Not only do we have to worry about repairing our toilets and sinks but stuffed-up drains can also be the cause of water damage, which can turn into structural damage, sending those repair and maintenance bills soaring to dizzying heights. We’re left with bills potentially costing us thousands more and putting an even tighter budget on our holiday spending. Clogged drains turn into blocked pipes, which turn into burst pipes, leaving us without water in our homes, and without that disposable income in our wallets.

Just like we take our cars to auto mechanics for regular inspections, and we take ourselves to see medical professionals that make sure our body is working properly, we have to make sure we are taking regular care of the pipes in our homes to keep water flowing out of our faucets and flushing down the drain. Problems with our pipes are not the most readily apparent, and that’s exactly why we need to make sure to get them looked at regularly by professionals who have the knowledge and tools to help.

What Can I Do Between Regularly Scheduled Maintenance to Keep My Drains Clean?

The best offense is a good defense! Clogs are an inevitability when it comes to our pipes but paying thousands for extensive repairs to our homes because of water damage doesn’t have to be. If you want to go the extra mile and make sure you are doing your best to keep your drains clear and working properly, make sure to:

  • Clean your drain stoppers regularly.
  • Purchase hair trapping drain covers for your showers.
  • Regularly clean your pipes with a mixture of baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water (pour lemon juice down the drain after for a refreshing, clean scent!)
  • Do not put anything in your drains that will not dissolve in water, like hygiene products, coffee grounds, or cooking oil and grease.
  • Most importantly, get regular maintenance done by professionals.

Hang on to Your Holiday Cash

Every year, the list of friends and family to buy gifts for keeps on growing, new babies, new spouses, new friends. Not to mention, there’s always a lot on our list of things to take care of in the holiday season; food shopping, gift shopping, cleaning the house, and putting up decorations, it’s enough to cause anyone a little stress, even in a winter wonderland.

So let there be one less thing that can go wrong in your happy home, and one less thing to spend money on. Make sure to be mindful of what we put down the drain and take measures to keep them clean and working properly. Most importantly, get your drains checked regularly by professionals with the skills and tools to do the job correctly. Do this before there is a disaster that is going to cost you a lot of time, and money, that you could be spending with the people you love. Hang on to that extra holiday cash so that you can spend it on the people you care about.

To schedule a service, or even if you have questions concerning drain maintenance and repairs in your home, we’re always here to help.
Give us a call today!

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