Discovering damage to your home is a nightmare for any homeowner — no matter what it is. The worst, however, is the damage that occurs behind your walls and beneath your floors. Damage that once discovered, is already too late to prevent. When a drain becomes blocked in your home, you may not be able to detect it right away so it is important to pay attention to the warning signs of blocked drains to save your home from detrimental damage and costs.
Causes of a Blocked Drain
Blocked drains can be caused by an array of issues, which makes the preventative measures difficult to define. Depending on the location of the drains in your home, different factors are going to lead to a block.
In your kitchen, as much as you try to prevent it, grease and food will find its way into your sink and down your drain. A collection of food in your drain over time will lead to a backup. In your bathroom, a build-up of soap scum, dirt, hair, and skin flakes can accumulate over time and cause a blockage.
In your basement, your drains are often neglected as you may not use the space very often, blocks can form and become worse over time due to lack of preventative measures. These blocks, if left untreated, can lead to broken or burst pipes, which can further lead to flooding and major water damage.
Signs of a Blocked Drain
Since you can’t see the inside of your drains, it is very difficult to be able to tell where the block is coming from, or if there is a block at all. If you begin to notice that your toilets, showers, baths, and sinks are draining slowly, or not draining at all, then there is most likely a block.
Any noticeable smell, usually foul, is worthy to note and look into. Bad smells can be coming from your drains and can be caused by a build-up, such as food, that is starting to rot. If you start to notice that your drains are making funny noises, or gargling after the water is drained, then this can also be a sign of a blocked drain.
Who Should You Call?
If you begin to notice any of these signs, contact a pro immediately. If the block is located within your property, then it is your responsibility to hire someone to resolve the issue. However, if the block is located off of your property, but is affecting your property, then your local water and sewage company is responsible for repairing the block. If you are unsure of the location of the block, a pro with be able to determine where it is.
Methods Used to Clear Blocked Drains
If your drain does become blocked, there are actions available to take prior to contacting a pro if you’re up for the task.
- Pouring boiling water into your drain where the block is located can help to break up any clogged debris.
- Using a store-bought drain cleaner can also help to break up any debris stuck in your drain.
- Using a plunger on your toilet and even your drain can help to move clogged debris through your drain and clear the flow.
If none of these methods work, contact a pro to help. While a pro may suggest the above, they also have more advanced techniques to clear the block. A pro can snake a drain using CCTV footage to locate and determine what the block is and move it along.
A plumber may also use a method called hydro jetting, where they blast water, at high pressure, into the drain to clear any debris. If needed, an excavation of the pipes may be performed. If the block is too stubborn and not responding to any other methods, excavating the pipe and clearing the debris, or replacing the pipe completely may solve the issue.
Costs of Repairing a Blocked Drain
The average cost of repairing your home’s main drains, like the ones in your kitchen, is around $550. The cost depends greatly on the extent of the damage and the measures taken to repair it. The average cost of repairing smaller drains, like the ones in your bathroom linked to your toilet and shower, is around $125-$500, again the cost depends greatly on the extent of the damage.
Cleaning your drains on a consistent basis will help to prevent the build-up of materials and further damage over time. Blocked drains in your home are not only a potential disaster for your home, but they also pose a health hazard and this is why it is important to take action right away. If left untreated, blocked drains can lead to leaks and standing water. This can further lead to the growth of mold in your home which can create a toxic environment if left untreated. If you notice a warning sign, consult a pro today.