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Clogged drainMany homeowners have a glaring blind spot in their home maintenance routine: their drain pipes. Most people tend to not even think of their drainage pipes until something happens, such as a clogged drain or the intrusion of severe, foul-smelling gases into the home. However, you don't have to put up with such problems with your drains if you do a little preventative maintenance. As the old saying goes, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," but what are the specific benefits of giving your home's drains a good cleaning from time to time?

Drain Cleaning Benefits:

  • Faster, more efficient drainage- The first, and often most noticeable, benefit of cleaning your drains is that they will drain more quickly than before. Water will not "stand" in the drain and only slowly gurgle its way down the pipe (if your sink is emptying that slowly, then the drain probably needs to be cleaned). By cleaning your drains, your sinks and other water fixtures will be less likely to overflow or develop standing water. This is even more important in toilet drains, as keeping these pipes clear will help to prevent backflow.
  • Improve drain life/prevent leaks- The buildup of chemical deposits along the inside of your drain pipes can cause them to corrode. By having your pipes routinely cleaned, you can prevent such leaks from forming in the first place. This extends the life of your existing pipe, so you do not have to go to the expense of gutting your home in order to replace all of your existing drain pipes.
  • Prevention of foul odors- While you might associate the occurrence of foul odors with your toilet, failure to clean any drain can allow the buildup of mold and bacteria, which in turn can produce unpleasant smells in your home. Remember, mold spores love a dark, damp environment, and the interior of your home's drains have darkness and dampness to spare. Don't just rely on the regular flow of water to wash away these spores, as it may not be enough. Giving your drain a thorough cleaning can destroy or at least wash away these mold spores and prevent bacteria from setting in.
  • Prevent damage to your home- Remember how chemical deposits can cause corrosion of your home's pipes? Or how a toilet can backflow if a clog forms in its drain? An unfortunate side effect of these situations is damage to your home can happen as a result of these spills. Water damage from a clean water pipe is bad enough, but the damage that a leak in a drain full of waste water can cause is even more devastating, as this water comes pre-loaded with harmful chemicals and bacteria. This unsanitary water can cause discoloration to any flooring or walls it comes into contact with, which can be very costly to repair or replace. By cleaning your drains regularly, you can prevent this type of damage from occurring.
  • Prevent clogs from forming- Of course, the most obvious benefit of cleaning your drains on a regular basis is that it will prevent clogs from forming. This means that you will not have to put up with stopped-up sinks or toilet backflow.

Of course, knowing how to properly clean your drain pipes is critical to the process of cleaning your drains. Many people, for the sake of ease of use, will use chemical drain cleaners to clear clogged pipes in their home. While limited use of such products is unlikely to cause permanent damage to pipes, overuse or improper use of these lye-based products can cause harm to both the pipes and the user (lye corrodes human skin on contact). However, these chemical treatments are still insufficient to the task of actually cleaning your home's pipes, as they do not scour buildup from the sides, but simply flow past without actually cleaning the pipe.

Thankfully, many clogs or instances of drain buildup can be easily cleared from a pipe using readily available tools such as a plunger or a drain snake. Drain snakes can be especially effective at knocking excess buildup from the sides of your pipe, given the way in which they are designed to operate (by twisting around in the pipe and grabbing at clog materials).

Should common home plumbing solutions prove insufficient to clear your pipes, don't forget that you can get professional assistance from your Sacramento sewer & drain specialists. We can use trenchless technologies such as hydro-jetting to get your pipes thoroughly clean and free of obstructions. If you need advice, or have a problem that needs solving, call Express Sewer & Drain right away for help.

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Topics: Drain Cleaning